Political News

Kentucky governor says 'we're not going to be bullied' amid threats to statehouses

Posted January 15, 2021 10:15 a.m. EST

— Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday declared "we're not going to be bullied" in the wake of last week's riots at the US Capitol and fears of further violence in state capitals.

States across the country are increasing security ahead of what the FBI has warned are "armed protests" being planned at all 50 state capitols in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

"Our goal is to be prepared. To ensure that what happened at the US Capitol never ever happens here," Beshear, a Democrat, told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day" Friday, adding that Kentucky has already activated its National Guard for assistance.

In addition to preparedness, Beshear stressed the need for "recognizing these people for who they are."

"We got to know these people intend to cause violence, that they are domestic terrorists, and stop playing patty cake with these so-called militias thinking they just dress up like it's Halloween and act tough," Beshear said Friday.

"If we don't respond, if there is not total condemnation, this becomes the new normal and that would be a pretty scary America."

Following the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, militia members held a rally at the Kentucky statehouse, where, according to Beshear, one of the militia members showed up with zip ties.

Beshear has personally faced threats in his own state for months. Following his response to the Covid-19 pandemic in May, militia members hanged the governor in effigy.

Others walked past the barriers at the governor's mansion where Beshear lives with his family, "chanting and heckling," for him to come out, he said. Beshear was not at the governor's mansion that day.

"What makes me worry is not me -- it's everybody else out there that can be threatened and intimidated by folks like this," Beshear said Friday. "And that's why it takes everybody. Everybody across the country saying, 'no more.' "

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