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McCrory verbally spars with AP reporter

Posted January 5, 2015

— Gov. Pat McCrory continues to maintain he properly reported a payout from Tree.com, telling an Associated Press reporter Monday that the news agency's story presents a "false impression" of his dealings with the company. 

The story stems from McCrory's time in the private sector between his unsuccessful run for governor in 2008 and his winning bid that landed him in office at the beginning of 2013. During that time, McCrory served on the board of Tree.com, the Charlotte-based parent of Lending Tree. 

Normally, as a director of the company, McCrory would have had to serve out his term on the board before he would be entitled to own certain stock tentatively granted to him. However, he took his oath of office and resigned from the company's board before that stock had vested. 

The AP reported last month that McCrory accepted stock that was converted from that restricted form to common shares worth $171,071 as of Jan. 30, 2013, weeks after he took the oath of office but the same day he stepped down from the Tree.com board. McCrory also received another $10,063 in payments from Tree.com that same year, despite no longer being on the board. 

The news agency has questioned whether McCrory properly reported those benefits on state ethics forms. McCrory maintains that he has, although those forms appear to reflect stock ownership and not a direct cash payment. 

"You continue not to correct your mistakes," McCrory told the AP reporter, Michael Biesecker, after the governor spoke to an economic forecast forum in Durham. 

Biesecker pushed McCrory to confirm that he received the payment from Tree.com, to which McCrory said, "I stand by my facts as you stand by your story." He then cut off further questions about the Tree.com story.

A spokesman for McCrory later clarified that McCrory had, in fact, received the payment and believed he was responding "yes" to a question about the payments.

During a later exchange after some intervening questions, McCrory told Biesecker, "Read our response, which is pretty substantial." 

That response from the McCrory administration was itself unusual. The governor's communications staff took the extraordinary step of not only answering the questions raised by the AP in writing but assembling a 34-page dossier on Biesecker critical of his work covering the administration.

None of those written responses address the question posed Monday, which is whether McCrory actually received the payment noted in the AP report.

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  • Eq Videri Jan 7, 2015
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    Anyone who thinks the North Carolina press is singling out Republican Governor Pat McCrory for unwarranted proctology should ask Democrats Bev Perdue, Mike Easley, Jim Black, Frank Ballance, and Meg Scott Phipps how fond they are of N.C. news reporters. (And for several of them, how much they enjoyed prison as a result.)

  • notexactly Jan 6, 2015

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    Amen to that.

  • Terry Watts Jan 6, 2015
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    *applause*

  • Bart Iannetta Jan 6, 2015
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    How is that relevant? Is it because you are a Republican you automatically dismiss it because you know that some Democrats were worse?

    I am registered as Independent, and I choose to call out any politician, Democrat or Republican, when they fail to do their job with integrity. You, on the other hand, only cares when a Democrat does something corrupt, and apparently has no care when a Republican is corrupt? That is a big problem with this country.

  • Stan Simmerson Jan 6, 2015
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    Typical Republican tactics, if you don't like the facts presented, go after the author of the article. 34-page dossier to go after the author? Really? McCrory, your employees have more important things to do than spend our tax money going after someone that merely reported what you did. So much for ethical, transparent government.

  • sabsco Jan 6, 2015

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    I've read about Rangel in AP stories but as a North Carolinian, Rangel doesn't represent me. McCrory does! And who do you think went after Easley and Perdue? - The same "liberal" media you get so offended at when they question anyone with an R in front of their name!

  • Gary Lasereyes Jan 6, 2015

    Meh, still no where near as corrupt as Mike Sleazely and Worthless Bev.

  • Gary Lasereyes Jan 6, 2015

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    You may win the double standard award. Every democrat politician gets asked softball questions and you know it. The media doesn't even try to hide its liberal bias and you liberal insist it doesn't exist but yet you cant wait to get FOX off the air because they out your agenda hourly

  • Terry Watts Jan 6, 2015
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    Benghazi!

  • heelhawk Jan 6, 2015

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    you may win the GOP play book award. Let's see, you deflected the issue to avoid addressing the Governors activity, you threw the press under the buss and implied that they have a liberal bias, and then you wrapped up with some juvenile name calling and a monarchical reference. You missed perfection in your attempt to show your ignorance by failing to bring up and confuse socialism and communism, and you didn't make a single hitler or nazi reference. Try harder.

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