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Kentucky Gov. Bevin Refuses To Discuss Comey Firing

Matt Bevin
J. Tyler Franklin
Matt Bevin

Gov. Matt Bevin doesn't want to share his thoughts on President Donald Trump's decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey.

After a press event Friday at the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville, Bevin avoided answering questions related to national politics — including Comey's firing and a recent directive from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to roll back some of his predecessors' prosecution policies.

Bevin traveled to Louisville to make an announcement about a championship boxing match in Freedom Hall scheduled for later this year. He joined Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield for the announcement at the Ali Center.

When asked for his thoughts on Comey's firing, Bevin said "as far as I know, director Comey was not a boxing fan."

"We're not even going to talk about it," he said before asking why Kentucky residents "should get" his opinion on the the firing.

Listen: Gov. Bevin refuses to answer questions about federal politics:


The president abruptly fired Comey earlier this week as the former FBI head was overseeing the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

The move prompted some Trump critics to cry foul — accusing the president of violating the law and obstructing justice. Experts say while it may be tough to make such an accusation stick, Trump's comments on Twitter after the firing put him on the brink of violation, according to a report from The New York Times.

Bevin is a staunch Trump supporter. And the two share similar backgrounds: Both are businessmen-turned-politicians. They also routinely criticize the media.

On Friday, Bevin scoffed at the notion that Kentucky residents deserve to know his thoughts on federal politics.

"It's a little condescending to be asking these questions when we have Evander Holyfield here and we're talking about bringing live boxing back to Louisville," he said when asked about Comey's firing.

Bevin ignored a question about whether the FBI should continue its probe into the Trump campaign's relationship with Russia. The governor also didn't answer when asked if he has any personal or business investments in Russia.

Sessions' directive ordering federal prosecutors to begin pursuing the toughest charges and sentences against crime suspects rescinds the work of his predecessor, Eric Holder, who sought more lenient and flexible sentencing laws. Holder's policy encouraged prosecutors to weigh each case individually and use discretion when deciding on charges for drug crimes.

When asked what Sessions' move could mean for young people living in urban cores such as Louisville — where drug crime is more prevalent — Bevin offered no direct answer.

"I'm the governor of Kentucky, I'm not elected at a federal level," he said.

Earlier this week, Bevin was a featured speaker at an event sponsored by The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank that's helped influence White House policy.

He joined the head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, and members of Congress at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs to "discuss big ideas, explore innovative strategies and reach for new heights," according to an event flyer.

When asked what he discussed at the event, again, Bevin offered no details.

"Look it up," he said.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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