Written by Staff Writer by Dr. Gareth Porter, CNN
Former Democrat Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has told The New York Times that he told his Republican successor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, before he took office in 2015 that if Donald Trump won the presidential election that, “We were one vice president away from a coup.”
In an interview published Tuesday, McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, also told the Times that Trump’s win marked the “beginning of the end of our democracy.”
The DNC appointed McAuliffe last year to head an independent review of the party’s election operations. In the Times interview, McAuliffe said he delivered the message to his Republican successor on the “very bitter turf” of Virginia politics.
“I said, ‘Look, this isn’t about policy. If you win, give my wife a check in the next week. Because if you do not win in Virginia, we are going to see a full house of impeachment hearings against Trump. We are going to see a full house of civil disobedience. We are going to see a full house of lawyers moving in to represent the resistance.’”
McAuliffe did not share a copy of the president’s 2016 campaign finance reports, the newspaper reported.
McAuliffe and former Republican Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, among other figures, were among early backers of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.
CNN has reached out to McAuliffe’s office for additional comment.
Drudge: Y’all don’t understand the difference between censorship and patriotism
Meanwhile, online outlet Drudge Report, which has a reputation for an alarmist and unorthodox political editorial approach, echoed comments from Gov. McAuliffe’s op-ed column in the Times on Tuesday.
“McAuliffe’s remarks do not add up to an accurate assessment of events; they are based on false claims,” Time’s James Poniewozik wrote on Twitter.
“I find the GOP’s silence in the face of this insane movement to be proof positive that they are sitting on their hands,” a reader named Ian wrote on the Times’ website on Tuesday.
This is far from the first time since Trump took office that officials from both sides of the aisle have sparred over what they perceive as anti-Trump bias in the mainstream media.
Last week, it was reported that Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and adviser Kellyanne Conway are receiving regular briefings on “extreme left” coverage of the President at the White House’s West Wing, according to officials with knowledge of the policy.
The move comes after months of President Trump lambasting the media as “fake news,” and has drawn criticism from Democrats and media watchdog groups.
“Since President Trump became President, media outlets have frequently labeled him ‘fake news,’ denying him real news — or at least the actual news presented in a straight line,” James Dao wrote on The Atlantic’s website last month.
“But rather than debunk these allegations, as newspapers, television stations, or websites like The New York Times and Washington Post would do under similar circumstances, the administration now passes along private recommendations of ‘fake news’ story, description, and author.”