A chaotic episode erupted in the Virginia gubernatorial race late Wednesday, as The Associated Press published and then retracted a story that said court documents alleged Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe lied to a federal official.
AP sent a news alert at 9:45 p.m. that read “Court records: McAuliffe lied to postal inspector investigating RI death benefits scam,” followed by a story. The story said McAuliffe’s campaign had not responded to requests for comment.
The campaign swiftly denied the story to NBC 12 in Richmond, a response it confirmed to POLITICO.
“The person referenced on page 68 is absolutely not Terry McAuliffe since he was a passive investor and did none of the things referenced,” spokesman Josh Schwerin said in a statement.
In a statement at 11:25 p.m., AP said it had withdrawn the story.
“The indictment did not identify McAuliffe as the ‘T.M.’ who allegedly lied to investigators,” the statement said.