Bevin takes to Facebook video to slam attorney general and the media for "fake news"

01/25/2017 01:58 PM

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin took to his Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon to call out Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear and some in the news media over anti-abortion legislation passed in the first week of the General Assembly.

Bevin, citing information directly from him as the “best way to get access to this administration and what exactly is going on,” attacked Beshear and a reporter from the Louisville Courier-Journal in the nearly 5 minute Facebook video, view-able below.

Centering his remarks on two anti-abortion laws, House Bill 2 and Senate Bill 5, one of which is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union, Bevin chided Attorney General Beshear for his lack of defense in the legal realm.

On Jan. 10, the day after the ACLU filed suit Beshear said it was his duty to enforce the Constitution, and defends laws where the constitutionality is questionable and finality is needed.

“Adhering to these duties is why, after close review, my office will defend the agencies sued over House Bill 2 that seek our representation,” Beshear said at the time. “Whether a mandatory ultrasound and explanation is constitutional has split the two federal appellate circuits that have directly addressed it.”

Beshear continued in his remarks earlier this month, indicating his office would not represent the state on any challenge to Senate Bill 5, the 20-week ban.

“This law is clearly unconstitutional based on our review of numerous federal appellate rulings, which state that identical statutes in other jurisdictions are illegal under numerous Supreme Court decisions,” Beshear wrote at the time.

In his video on Wednesday, Bevin said Beshear was not going to do his job in court filings. Beshear is seeking the case be dismissed, but Bevin sought to make his video about a temporary injunction in the case requested by the ACLU.

“That is absolutely unconscionable it’s dishonorable to run for a position as the Attorney General, as the chief law enforcement official in the state and then not do your job,” Bevin said.

Beshear responded in a statement sent to Pure Politics, calling Bevin’s remarks online as “false.”

“Today the governor took to Facebook to provide his own ‘alternative facts,’” Beshear said in the statement. “His claims are false and they show once again that he clearly doesn’t understand or respect the law or the Constitution.

“My office is actively defending agencies sued over House Bill 2,” Beshear continued. “In doing so, we have taken the most aggressive action possible, moving to have the entire case dismissed as to those agencies. I would suggest in the future that if the governor has any questions on the hard work of my office that he walk across the hallway and ask to meet with me, and not hide behind Facebook.”

In the Facebook video, Bevin went on to say some in the media “support” Beshear “in ways that are over the top,” specifically naming a reporter and denigrating the reporting of the Courier Journal.

In a series of tweets, Courier-Journal Metro Columnist Joe Gerth called on Bevin to apologize to the reporter immediately.

“@GovMattBevin is on notice that his Facebook rant is wrong. At what point does leaving it up make it a lie? Take it down. #apologizenow,” Gerth wrote the governor on Twitter.

In a follow up tweet, Gerth said Bevin is spreading fake news.

“@GovMattBevin is spreading #fakenews, claiming that @d_yetter lied in a story. Bevin is not telling the truth,” he wrote.

Watch Bevin’s video below:

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News or anytime with Spectrum On Demand.Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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