“Can We Try To Kill This?” The McAuliffe Campaign Responds to Turley Column With Bizarre Question

(MSNBC/via YouTube)

 Yesterday I wrote about reports that Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s campaign retained the services of former Clinton counsel Marc Elias. The hiring was astonishing not only because of Elias’ controversial record but a still ongoing special counsel investigation touching on his role in the last election. Elias has challenged past elections and I raised the question of whether he might be part of post-election challenges. When Fox News asked the McAuliffe campaign, the response was . . . well . . . a killer.

The campaign responded to Fox reporter Tyler O’Neil with an email sent by McAuliffe spokesperson Christina Freundlich asking “can we try to kill this.”  She later sent out an email which seemed to claim success in spiking the story without having to respond to questions about Elias’ record.

On its face, it seemed like the McAuliffe campaign was asking Fox to kill the story in a Twitteresque fashion. After all, many in the media killed the Hunter Biden laptop story before the election.  Indeed, even journalism deans have called on reporters to kill stories rather than respond to the merits.

If that seems an unlikely request to Fox News, there is the alternative possibility that Freundlich meant the response to go to media allies or campaign staff to see if they could somehow kill the story. If so, it was a chilling first response to the column. It had that Shakespearean Dick the Butcher feel to it: the first thing we do is kill all the lawyer stories.

The greater controversy however remains the hiring of Elias for any election purpose when a special prosecutor is still in the field presumably looking, among other things, at Elias’ role in the 2020 election. (Elias is not the sole or primary focus of the investigation, which is looking at origins of the Russian conspiracy theories before the last election).

McAuliffe does not appear disturbed by Elias’ highly controversial career or his possible exposure in the Durham investigation. Elias’ former law partner at Perkins Coie was just indicted by Durham. Even if he is not indicted like his former partner, Elias is likely to be featured in any report.

I do not disparage any campaign for lawyering up in what could be a close election and there are a host of pre-election and post-election matters for counsel to address. This is particularly true in the state with recent changes in voting rules. However, there remains the question of why McAuliffe would hire Elias in the midst of the special counsel investigation. That is putting aside the allegations of reporters that Elias and the Clinton campaign lied to them to conceal the funding of the Steele dossier before the last election.

While Elias has denounced Republicans challenging elections, he has unsuccessfully challenged elections where the Republicans prevailed.  He was previously sanctioned by a court in a case challenging a Texas voting law.

After Freundlich asked Fox “Can we try to kill this,” Fox said that she sent an email stating “To dispute the challenges of the election.” Fox described it as “ostensibly responding to an email that did not go through to Fox News.” (For the record, I appear as a Fox contributor).

Freundlich then sent out an equally cryptic tweet saying “I think it’s clear based on this story that we did in fact…kill the story.”  That would suggest that she was asking Fox (and others) to simply kill the story.

It is not clear if Freundlich is saying that she was able to get most of the media to kill the story even while openly calling for (and then celebrating) that blackout. There are some newspapers like the New York Post which ran the story but it is not clear if the Washington Post or other media will do so.  It is doubtful that such media would show the same restraint if a sanctioned Trump lawyer was hired by Youngkin to help manage election issues or challenges.

Elias has enjoyed such protection from inquiry in the past. One of the most glaring examples occurring recently on CNN when its media correspondent Brian Stelter asked Elias “what should we be doing differently?” in covering elections. Stelter accepted Elias’ portrayal of his past work as “pro-democracy” and never asked him about objections from other reporters that he and the campaign lied about the Steele Dossier before the presidential election. Elias called on the media to report with a “pro-democracy slant.”  It is an open call for bias and just assumes that Elias’ work is pro-democracy and, by extension, those who oppose his work are anti-democracy.




355 thoughts on ““Can We Try To Kill This?” The McAuliffe Campaign Responds to Turley Column With Bizarre Question”

  1. Anonymous writes: “John Say; did you really try to deflect this ham handedly???”

    Anonymous, John wasn’t deflecting. He was questioning your evidence. AOC is an authority? Are you kidding? She was caught lying.

  2. “Your capacity to misunderstand context is consistently staggering.”

    Anonymous, if that were so you wouldn’t have any problem explaining the problem. But , it seems you do, since nothing followed the statement quoted above.

  3. Anonymous writes: “Trump lost. Full stop.”

    I understand how you feel. Many people feel like you. Unfortunately, the truth is often hard to accept, and sometimes the truth isn’t as straightforward as one would like. Some people that don’t want to think deeply consider the truth to be like a light switch, on or off. Others look at it in its full spectrum. The full spectrum frustrates the shallow because the shallow person doesn’t like to think.

    Therefore, we are left with ‘Trump lost’ or ‘the election was stolen from Trump’. That is what happens when people like you side with lawlessness.

  4. When one considers the lawlessness of the 2020 election, they should include this information. This effectively provided campaign contributions in excess of the legitimate amount.

    Was the election stolen?

    This is more evidence for those who think it was.
    Pennsylvania governor fingered for routing private election grants to Democrat areas

    Report concludes Wolf administration helped only Democratic counties secure $21 million in private grants from Mark Zuckerberg-funded nonprofit ahead of the 2020 election.

    “Not only did this create unequal access to voters, but it also essentially disenfranchised voters in counties that did not receive equal funding.”


  5. Logic eludes you.

    While your statement ” slavery is, by definition, meant entirely to “benefit” slave owners” is self evidently false.
    Just as slave owners punished slaves – they also took care of them. The self interest of the slave owner was the well being of the slave.
    Washington’s personal doctor cared for his slaves.

    Slavery is not evil – because it entirely benefits the slave owner – that is both false and irrelevant.
    Slavery is evil because it infringes on individual liberty – regardless of who benefits.

    Your argument presumes that Slavery would be justifiable if slaves benefited equitably.

    This should make clear the total moral failure of “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion” – there is absolutely nothing it DEI that precludes equitable slavery.

    In fact there is nothing in purported principles of Diversity, Equity or Inclusion that precludes myriads of forms of obvious immorality.

    There is a reason that Liberty trumps all other values. Without liberty there is no morality.

    Absolutely Lee should be judged for his actual conduct regarding Slavery. That conduct does not reflect well. It is also NOT as egregious and the one sided, inaccurate, nonsense in the article you linked.

    With respect to your idiotic claims regarding US history – they are utter garbage.

    Critical thinking is beyond you.

    Just as it is self evident that Putin would not seek to get Trump elected, it is equally obvious that Slavery was on net harmful to US aspirations. Look arround the country – it has taken more than a century for slaves states to recover.

    The left likes to fixate on the evils of the post civil war Jim Crow era. No disagreement – and Again those states pushing Jim Crow stagnated relative to the rest of the country.

    The obvious pattern of US History is the Failure of slavery and discrimination to accomplish any good – for the country, for slave states, even ultimately for slave owners.

  6. Anonymous writes: >>“I don’t think he ever was involved in purchasing slaves for his own benefit.”

    >Do you need it explained to you that slavery is, by definition, meant entirely to “benefit” slave owners?”

    I think ATS you need to understand your own question first while considering the context of my reply. Lacking a decent response, you are deflecting. It is clear, you know little about the subject matter.

    “Or that the rise of the United States was built into a super power on the back of two and half centuries of free labor enforced upon an enslaved race?”

    That is an empty conclusion, again based on lack of knowledge. I guess you believe, after the Civil War the US could only become a third world nation without slavery.

    “Meyer rings the bell with his forehead yet again.”

    Don’t you see how Stupid you sound?

  7. “[T]he United States was built into a super power on the back of two and half centuries of free labor enforced upon an enslaved race”

    Someone does not know America’s economic history (and is attempting to smear it with the vicious lie “systemic racism”).

    America’s economic prowess was built primarily by the free, industrialized North. The South rose economically only *after* the Civil War. As any decent economist can tell you (and as history and the world today show), slavery is harmful to an economy. Free individuals are productive. Slaves plod away at drudgery.

  8. Turley has written several articles criticizing Marc Elias. Fair enough. No one is above reproach.

    But Trump lawyer John Eastman is the center of attention at the moment and likely to be subpoenaed before the 1/6 commission. Eastman is very controversial:


    I’m not instructing Turley what to write about. I am simply asking whether anyone here can provide a reason why Turley so far has refused to comment one way or the other. Many other legal analysts have. Why his silence? Anyone?

    1. “I’m not instructing Turley what to write about. I am simply asking whether anyone here can provide a reason why Turley so far has refused to comment one way or the other. Many other legal analysts have. Why his silence? Anyone?”

      There was no reason for him to do so. He has particular interests and frequently those interests involve his students. That you are a child looking for a grown-up to fight his battles is laughable.

      1. “There was no reason for him to do so. He has particular interests and frequently those interests involve his students. That you are a child looking for a grown-up to fight his battles is laughable.”

        Please, a serious answer someone. Turley comes to the defense of obscure academics “cancelled” anywhere at any time, but Eastman has been forced to retire from his law school, ostracized by the Federalist Society, and banned from Fox News. Now they are coming for his license to practice law:


        Where is Turley? Does anyone else not wonder as I do why he will not speak on his behalf? Even if he agrees with the contents of the above etter, should not Turley go on the record and say so?

        His silence is deafening is confounding.

        1. “Please, a serious answer someone. “

          What is the legal issue you wish Turley to discuss? You want to yell and scream about Trump and anyone who supported him. It doesn’t matter who. You wear short pants and need someone with long pants to fight your battles. You are an attorney. You should be able to state what you wish Turley to say, but you are a coward to do so yourself.

          Did you alway hide behind your mother’s dress?

  9. Terry McAuliffe, the poster boy of white privilege:

    (Atlantic staff writer Caitlin) Flanagan who stressed that she’s a “Democrat,” railed against McAuliffe as a “hack politician” who is “siding with the teachers union” because “that’s where his bread is buttered.”

    “He’s a rich man who sent all his kids to private schools and he’s never in his life had someone tell him ‘We’re gonna tell your 8-year-old child something you don’t want her to know and we’re going to keep her for seven hours to do it and you have no control over that,’ – Fox News

    Such hubris. He deserves to have a political nobody like Glenn Youngkin humiliate his political career.

  10. It is revealing that Terry McAwful was Governor of Virginia from 2014-2018, last week recruited Obama, Harris and Biden to stomp for him in Virginia (and Dr Jill too!), and yet McAwful is still trailing a nobody like Youngkin. McAwful is now using Lincoln Project organization to campaign for him. This in spite of the fact that LP leaders have been credibly accused of sexually harassing young men.

    Lincoln Project Posed as Charlottesville White Supremacists at GOP Event

    The Lincoln Project acknowledged they were behind the stunt after VICE News identified one of the people in the photo as a Democratic operative.

        1. Young in response to Karen S:

          “What dirty tricks. Cheaters.

          Same crap done on January 6.”

          I guess both you and Karen will be watching and taking notes on Carlson’s “Patriot Purge” claiming that 1/6 was a false flag operation.

          I predict Turley will not take part or be quoted in this false narrative. However, he will not raise his voice against this Trumpist lie. Fox has bought his silence.

    1. And furthermore, the lie that Trump called white supremacists “very fine people” was thoroughly debunked. Shame on them for spreading such a blatant falsehood, and painting Youngkin with it.

      If people have a shred of conscience left, they wouldn’t vote for a Democrat for dog catcher.

      1. They don’t think it is a lie to say Trump said white supremacists we’re fine people. It is a matter of definition. There are the tiki torch carrying neo-Nazis and Klan members that everyone would agree are white supremacists. Then there were those who just opposed the tearing down of General Lee’s statute. Trump specifically excluded the neo-Nazis and Klan members from his statement and was only referring to those traditionalists who wanted to continue honoring Gen. Lee. But they have a different definition of white supremacist. Anyone who disagrees with them who doesn’t want to tear down that statute right now is a white supremacist. Trump’s effort to carefully carve out part of that crowd was of no effect. The whole crowd were white supremacists. See how this works? There is no nuance. You either agree or your racist.

    2. What has the Democrat opponent to Youngkin done about this rape? Apparently nothing. Why? Because he is a Democrat.
      Youngkin calls for investigation of school board for alleged coverup of transgender sexual assault

      The GOP gubernatorial candidate also says he would require schools to report crimes to local law enforcement: ‘We’re calling the police’

      Cont: https://justthenews.com/government/state-houses/youngkin-calls-investigation-loudoun-county-school-board-over-sexual?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

    3. “Lincoln Project Posed as Charlottesville White Supremacists at GOP Event”

      So the Left planted a false flag, to smear their opponents.

      They didn’t do that on Jan. 6. Did they? They wouldn’t dare gin up trespassing into an “insurrection.” Would they?

      They wouldn’t use a Covid ticking clock to spread terror, and smear a presidential candidate. Would they?

  11. OT

    Darren, with reference to your comment, would you be so kind as to explain how Kamala Harris, a “citizen” by birth, is transformed into a “natural born citizen” by U.S. v. Won Kim Ark, (dissent by three Justices) or by any other official act, understanding that the requirement for Congress and the Senate is simple “citizen” while the requirement for president and vice president is the several, greater and superior status of “natural born citizen?” *

    Also, is it your understanding that the judicial branch has the power, any power, to amend the U.S. Constitution, by any means?

    Darren Smith says:
    October 27, 2021 at 5:06 PM

    It might be helpful to consider that Vice President Harris was born in Oakland, CA. Her parents were not granted diplomatic immunity at the time of her birth nor were they part of the diplomatic corps of any foreign government. Therefore according to United States v. Won Kim Ark’s interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, she is a citizen of the United States and eligible to hold the presidency in so far as the citizenship requirement is concerned, should that position become available to her.

    * Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5

    No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.

    * Article 1, Section 2

    No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.

    * Article 1, Section 3

    No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen.

    1. George, read:



      A natural-born citizen refers to someone who was a U.S. citizen at birth, and did not need to go through a naturalization proceeding later in life.

      Political Office Requirement

      The phrase “natural-born citizen” appears in the U.S. Constitution. In order to become the President or Vice President of the United States, a person must be a natural-born citizen. This “Natural-Born Citizen Clause” is located in Section 1 of Article 2 of the United States Constitution.

      The constitution does not expressly define “natural born” nor has the Supreme Court ever ruled precisely upon its meaning. One can be a citizen while not being a “natural born” citizen if, for example, that person gained citizenship through the process of naturalization.

      Under the 14th Amendment’s Naturalization Clause and the Supreme Court case of United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 US. 649, anyone born on U.S. soil and subject to its jurisdiction is a natural born citizen, regardless of parental citizenship. This type of citizenship is referred to as birthright citizenship.

      There is some debate over whether or not one may also be a natural born citizen if, despite a birth on foreign soil, U.S. citizenship immediately passes from the person’s parents.

      1. The 14th Amendment does not address or amend the Article 2 requirement that the president and vice president be a “natural born citizen” which is clearly defined in the Law of Nations, 1758, which the Founders used continually as a reference at the Constitutional Convention, and the Law of Nations is referenced in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 10. Harris is a “citizen” not a “natural born citizen.” The Constitution is not a dictionary and does not define many words and phrases.

        14th Amendment

        All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    1. FUNFACT:

      The Naturalization Act of 1802 was in full force and effect requiring citizens to be “…free white person(s)…” on the 1863 date of issuance of the unconstitutional Emancipation Proclamation, in turn, requiring the immediate deportation of freed slaves. In a society of laws, laws must be enforced. This biological entity is not even authorized to be in the U.S.

    2. Young, Brittney Cooper says, I are educated. Her degree has nothing to do with affirmative action.

    3. It is not just white people who reject CRT. It can be easily seen on social media and among the parents who attend school board meetings that non-whites also strongly reject the malignant insanity of CRT.

      1. Throgmorton says:

        “It is not just white people who reject CRT. It can be easily seen on social media and among the parents who attend school board meetings that non-whites also strongly reject the malignant insanity of CRT.”

        For your information, Turley completely disagrees with you:

        “I value the writings of CLS and CRT scholars on the issue as we discuss the evolution and role of the law in society. While I subscribe to an opposing view and embrace a robust view individual rights like free speech, the writings allow for alternative views on such fundamental issues in class…. I have no problem with such theories being taught on campuses.”


        1. Jonathan Turley is entitled to his opinion, but how does this disprove my statement that many non-white people also find CRT to be evil and repugnant?

          1. CRT is racist. Many are the Brown, Black, Asian, Pacific Islanders, Muslims, Buddhists, Hebrew, Taoists, Australian Aborigines, Florida Seminoles, Caribbean Tainos, Peruvian Incas, Oklahoma Cherokees, and Elves, Dwarves, Witches and Warlocks who protest CRT as being racist…because they know a race baiter when they see one

            Happy Halloween to all non-trolls

          2. Throgmorton says:

            “Jonathan Turley is entitled to his opinion, but how does this disprove my statement that many non-white people also find CRT to be evil and repugnant?”

            I was not attempting to disprove your statement. I simply was informing you- in case you were unaware of it- that Turley completely rejects your view that CRT is a “malignant insanity.” Since I presume you respect his opinion which explains your presence here, I figured you would like to know his opinion of CRT in hopes that it might influence your opinion of CRT.

            Does it?

  12. Terry McAuliffe needs Elias to challenge the election if he continues to be damaged by his support for mutations of CRT in public schools over the objections of parents.

    CRT has bled into corporations so deeply that now banks, communications companies, and soda companies are telling their employees to BE LESS WHITE.

    Since more than 54% of all murders are committed by black men, about 7% of the population, one wonders if that is good advice. But never mind.

    At least those companies don’t need to tell their folks to BE LESS WHITE when they do business in South Africa.

    They are so less white in Africa that they are still eating each other.



    I imagine our major networks will embrace that BE LESS WHITE notion with sitcoms of happy cannibal families at Thanksgiving [or whatever they call it these days], kind of a combination of “BLACKISH” and “TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE” but they will have to take “Texas” out of the title because we don’t like Texas anymore. I wonder who will be on be menu?

    Meanwhile, Harvard has embraced segregation again by scheduling a “performance of ‘Macbeth’ exclusively for ‘Black-identifying audience members.” Sheriff ‘Bull’ Conner would approve. I wonder when the ‘Whites Only’ and ‘Blacks Only’ water fountains will be installed?

    CRT is taking us backwards fast in race relations. So is McAuliffe.

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Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks