EXCLUSIVE: Former Gov. Wilder speaks on impeachment inquiry, Navy Hill proposal, sexual harassment in 8News interview

Politics

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder spoke with 8News Tuesday to discuss a variety of topics, including the current state of national politics and issues closer to home.

The interview comes after Virginia Commonwealth’s University School of Government released a new poll regarding Virginian’s attitude on the impeachment inquiry – the first since the Ukraine affair began.

The new poll suggests 53 percent of Virginians believe there’s enough evidence to begin the impeachment hearings – 45 percent say Congress should not move forward.

The Commonwealth Poll 2019 was conducted via telephone interviews with a representative sample of 800 adults living in Virginia. The poll was conducted from September 23 through October 4, according to a release from the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.  

The responses were largely divided by party line, the release added.

8News anchor Juan Conde spoke with Wilder Tuesday. Wilder told 8News that Americans are hungry for more information.

“So I think right now, Juan, that people don’t know what to believe but they want to know what the facts are.

“That the people are very concerned in Virginia as to what’s going on in their government. They want to know who’s doing what, who’s doing what to whom, and why?”

Wilder told 8News he longs for the days that were less partisan.

“I think that there are things that Democrats and Republicans should agree upon and should agree upon that’s for the good of the nation–and this continuing divide doesn’t help at all.”

Wilder lays blame at the feet of elected officials, ignoring the plight of real people.

“Do you think the water in Flint, Michigan just got messed up? Just got poisoned, just got so bad that people couldn’t drink it? Well, how long has that been the case?”

Closer to home, Wilder, a former mayor of Richmond, has stayed mum on the Navy Hill proposal. The question for Wilder is whether minority set-asides in the plan are legal.

“And I spoke to the Mayor about it and I was concerned that that has never been rebutted,” Wilder stated.

8News also asked Wilder about a July report from VCU on allegations that he inappropriately kissed a young woman who worked for the school in 2017. The report dismissed sexual exploitation, gender-based discrimination, and retaliation.

City Police declined to press charges.

In response to the allegations, Wilder, 88, told 8News “stay tuned.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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