McDonnell: If I could go back, I would not have taken gifts

McDonnell: If I could go back, I would not have taken gifts

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) in a new interview broadcast Sunday evening said if he could go back to his time in office, he would not have taken the gifts that led to a career-rocking scandal.

“If I do it over again, I was governor, I wouldn't take any gifts. I didn't need them,” McDonnell tells “60 Minutes.”

The former governor said he appreciated family vacations following long work days when asked why he accepted the gifts that ultimately led to his conviction on public corruption charges. 

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“You know, having a family vacation after working 15 hours a day at a nice lake resort with my family, you know, I appreciated that,” said McDonnell.

McDonnell, who in 2014 was convicted on fraud charges that were ultimately voided by the Supreme Court, said he believed at the time that he was governing himself “properly.”

“I knew in my heart I was governing myself properly. And I knew I was making all the appropriate disclosures,” he said.

McDonnell told host Bill Whitaker that be broke down sobbing at the time of his conviction.

“That's all I could do, Bill,” McDonnell said. “At that point, I was a convicted felon with a criminal record who was going to lose my law license, my right to vote, my passport, my reputation and other liberties. And my life was never going to quite be the same.”