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WV gov says lawmaker should resign for explicit TikTok video

July 10, 2021 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice called on Saturday for the resignation of a state lawmaker who posted a sexually explicit TikTok video to his public account.

State Del. Joe Jeffries was stripped of a committee assignment on Friday after word spread of the social media posting, according to a statement from House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, who called his fellow Republican an “embarrassment.”

On Saturday, the state’s Republican governor issued a statement calling Jeffries’ behavior “sad” and “childish.”

“Not only did he yell graphic comments about me to a group of senators during the recent Legislative Session, but now we find that his not-so-secret TikTok is full of disgustingly vulgar videos, which are especially insulting to women,” Justice’s statement read. “This is the behavior of an immature child, not a 39-year-old father and elected official.”

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The governor said he had expected to hear an apology from Jeffries by Saturday morning, “but all he has done is hide from the media and the criticism.”

Jeffries did not immediately respond on Saturday afternoon to a phone message left at his office or an email from The Associated Press.

Jeffries, whose district includes a group of counties near the state capital of Charleston, posted the video on Thursday. His account was set to private on Friday afternoon.

Belinda Biafore, chair of the West Virginia Democratic Party, said Jeffries “has a slew of inappropriate and vulgar videos with his own sexually explicit commentary on a social media app aimed at youth.”