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Amid scandal, Va. governor visits Afghanistan

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BOB LEWIS | July 24, 2013 11:16 AM EST | AP

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RICHMOND, Va. — In the midst of a covert trip to Afghanistan to visit American troops, Gov. Bob McDonnell chose not to talk about gifts from a major political donor.

The Republican governor spoke with The Associated Press by telephone on Wednesday from Kabul, Afghanistan. The governor says there will be a time to talk about the thousands of dollars in gifts when he returns.

He continued to apologize for loans the donor made to the governor's wife and a business McDonnell owns with his sister.

McDonnell said Tuesday he had repaid more than $124,000 in loans from Jonnie Williams, who is the chief executive of troubled Virginia nutritional supplements maker Star Scientific Inc.

McDonnell met with U.S. military commanders in Kuwait and Afghanistan and with troops from Virginia.