McDonnell: I ‘absolutely’ did not abuse power

Gov. Bob McDonnell addressed the criminal and ethics investigation that has marred the Republican governor’s final term, affirming that he “never” abused his position.

“Absolutely not,” he said on Thursday’s Morning Joe. McDonnell was subject to ethics and criminal investigations after taking thousands in loans and gifts from a corporate executive and his company.

“I’m not perfect, I’ve made some mistakes, I acknowledged those, we returned the gifts, paid back loans, and then I get up every day and do the best job I can for Virginia,” he said.

Federal investigators have been investigating a potential corruption case for months, but despite the allegations—and the fact that the federal investigators are considering building a criminal corruption case—NBC News exit polls after Virginia’s election found that 52% of Virginians approve of the job McDonnell’s done.

McDonnell has continually repeated that he didn’t break the law and is suggesting changing the rules so it’s clearer.

“I followed the law, I accepted gifts a lot of other governors have done the same thing but I understand in retrospect that it undermined the trust people had in me and that’s why I made the changes I did and while I apologized and why I’ll recommend some ethics changes in the law,” he said. McDonnell added that he hoped to propose ethics rules that would keep future governors from going through the same thing.

McDonnell: I 'absolutely' did not abuse power