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Gov. Matt Bevin Says He Would Accept Foreign Help To Investigate Political Rivals

Governor Matt Bevin holds a press conference at the Governor's Mansion on October 4, 2019.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin said Friday he would accept help from a foreign government to investigate corruption regardless of whether or not it involved a political rival.

Bevin’s comments came during a press conference with the express purpose of antagonizing journalists into asking Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Andy Beshear about his stance on the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

"Does he support impeachment of the president or not? Yes or no?" Bevin said. "It's not complicated. Why is it none of you have demanded this answer of him?"

Beshear's Campaign Manager Eric Hyers said Beshear has already answered the question multiple times.

"Just like many other Kentuckians, the only information [Beshear] has right now is what he’s seen in different news reports. He believes that if Congress moves forward, any proceedings should be nonpartisan and focus on facts and evidence," Hyers said in an emailed statement.

Bevin, in turn, called the impeachment inquiry a politically-motivated "charade." He said he hasn't seen any evidence of illegal conduct on Trump’s behalf, even after reading through the partial transcript of Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Bevin's comments come just a day after the release of text messages from U.S. diplomats that suggest Trump wanted to exchange American aid for political dirt.

But Bevin said Trump’s efforts to pressure Zelenskiy into investigating the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has nothing to do with political rivalry.

"Let me tell you the fact that it is a political rival is irrelevant," he said.

In fact, Bevin said he too would seek help from a foreign government to investigate corruption when asked by WFPL News.

“The government of Ukraine was very directly involved in this," he said. "Of course, where else is the information going to come from? A reporter at the Washington Post? Please, be realistic. [It] has nothing to do with this as a political rival.”

Kentucky’s election for governor will be held on November 5.

Ryan Van Velzer is WFPL's Energy and Environment Reporter. Email Ryan at rvanvelzer@lpm.org.