Virginia’s Governor and longtime Clinton ally, Terry McAuliffe, has been caught spreading multiple lies about the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend.
Gov. McAuliffe launched a media blitz in the aftermath of the violent Charlottesville protests that resulted in the death of a 33-year-old woman. While speaking to the media, however, McAuliffe made multiple statements that have been assailed as falsehoods. Specifically, as reported by Reason, McAuliffe claimed that the white supremacist protesters outgunned Virginia State Police, and had stored weapons across Emancipation Park and Charlottesville.
While appearing on the podcast Pod Save the People, hosted by DeRay Mckesson–a Black Lives Matter activist–Gov. McAuliffe lied and said, “They had battering rams and we had picked up different weapons that they had stashed around the city.”
Multiple news outlets such as The Guardian ran with the dishonest claim that has surrounded the clash in Charlottesville. However, Virginia State Police deny that white supremacists were stashing weapons anywhere.
“As a safety precaution in advance of August 12, such searches were conducted in and around Emancipation and McIntire Parks. No weapons were located as a result of those searches,” explained Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller, according to Reason.
As reported by Business Insider, McAuliffe told The New York Times that the white supremacist protestors were better armed than Virginia State Police. McAuliffe made the claim to defend against accusations that Virginia State Police did not do enough to quell the violence.
“It’s easy to criticize, but I can tell you this, 80 percent of the [right-wing protesters] here had semiautomatic weapons,” McAuliffe said. “You saw the militia walking down the street, you would have thought they were an army. I was just talking to the State Police upstairs; they had better equipment than our State Police had. And yet not a shot was fired, zero property damage.”
However, Virginia State Police took umbrage at the governor’s claim that they could not handle the group of racists. Again, Virginia State Police spokesperson Geller was forced to confront McAuliffe’s lie.
“No, the State Police did not have inferior equipment,” she told a reporter for The Washington Free Beacon. “Our personnel are equipped, and were equipped, with the necessary protective and tactical gear for their safety and, obviously, to protect those that were in attendance of the event.”
VA State Police deny governor’s claim that white supremacist protesters were better armed than State Police. Should the governor apologize?
However, Geller also rejected the claim that state and local police did not do enough to stop the violence. She explained that the large police presence made it look, at times, like police were just standing around. However, Geller assured the public that police were very active in stopping any and all violent clashes.
“As we would respond, a lot of times those skirmishes and situations had already broken up and dissipated. That’s one reason why we had personnel stationed throughout the city: so we could respond.” Geller explained. “Under the city of Charlottesville, they fielded 250 calls that day for emergency situations. So, we were not standing around. Our folks were actively observing and stepping in when needed.”
Once again, as was the case in Mr. McAuliffe’s political past, the governor seems to take great liberties with the truth when it serves his political agenda.