U.S. Rep. James Comer, R-Tompkinsville, has come under fire from Courier Journal columnist Joe Gerth, who called the first-term congressman a “bully” in a column published Thursday afternoon.
In Gerth’s column, it’s alleged Comer sent “a bizarre, vulgar, threatening” Twitter message Oct. 11 aimed at Brad Metcalf, the now-former chief clerk of the Kentucky House of Representatives.
According to Gerth, the message alleged to be from Comer states:
“Hey Brad, when the House finally fires your dumba— (which will be very soon) for being a lazy dumb sh—, David Williams can help you find a job cleaning sh— stains off the commodes in the Corner Pool Room in Burkesville. But I’m sure you won’t last long there because everyone hates you and you are dumb and lazy.”
The message was sent as a private direct message to an account called Frankfort Blindside at the @kyblindside Twitter handle. Gerth said the newspaper was able to determine the message came from Comer’s verified account by being provided access to the @kyblindside account.
“… the operator of the @kyblindside account provided us the password for the @kyblindside account on Jan. 3. We were then able to view the original message and were able to click through to Comer’s verified account,” Gerth said in the column.
Frankfort Blindside is an anonymous account and, according to Gerth, the owner of that account did not reveal their identity to the Courier Journal.
Kentucky New Era was unable to verify the message, but a screenshot of the alleged message was posted Oct. 11 on the @kyblindside Twitter page. An additional image of the message was posted with Gerth’s column.
Gerth believes the message’s intended target — Brad — is Brad Metcalf, who was fired Jan. 1 from his position as clerk of the state House. Metcalf testified last fall before the ethics commission regarding the allegations against House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, according to media reports.
The Kentucky New Era reached out to Comer about Gerth’s allegations and his response to Gerth. Comer denied discussing Metcalf’s employment with anyone in the state House leadership.
“I have not discussed the employment status of Brad Metcalf with Kentucky House Leadership members or their staff,” Comer said in a statement emailed by his chief of staff, Caroline Cash, to the New Era. “Further, I will not comment on tweets from anonymous fake Twitter accounts that exist to cyber-harass people, or will I comment on the fake news tabloid publication known as the Courier Journal.”
When asked if his statement was a specific denial he sent the message, Cash said the congressman’s statement “stands for itself.”
Comer filed for re-election Tuesday as the representative for the 1st Congressional District, which includes residents of Christian, Trigg and Todd Counties.
Reach Melissa Pettitt at 270-887-3226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.