MO Governor denies trying to silence FOX 2`s Chris Hayes over Ferguson reports

FOX Files
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FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) - The National Guard has been trying to get me to back down on my Fox Files reports about the Governor`s handling of the Guard in Ferguson.   Governor Jay Nixon says he knows nothing about it.

It was last month when a National Guard Captain emailed FOX 2, asking for corrections.  However no one will talk on camera about it.

So we`ve tried getting answers through a series of Sunshine requests.  We wanted to see the documentation behind the National Guard response in Ferguson, after a Guard spokesman sent a list of corrections including 'Fact: on the afternoon of November 24th, and by Unified Command design, 60 guardsmen were in Ferguson.'

Pattonville Fire Assistant Chief Matt LaVanchy said, 'I didn`t see them.'

LaVanchy testified that he saw only two Guardsmen at central command.  He added that one of them asked him for help.  LaVanchy explained, '(The Guardsman) said we don`t have enough people to check them out, I need the police to come check out this suspicious person.  He`s kind of making us nervous.'

That lack of National Guardsmen presence was not the early plan according to a November 3rd Highway Patrol email listing both the command post and Ferguson PD as 'vital locations.'  The Governor has since claimed it was never the plan to have Guardsmen on the front lines.

It was a huge surprise to firefighters. Gunfire forced them to drop their hoses and head for safety.  Assistant Chief LaVanchy said, 'It kind of made my head start spinning about where`s everybody else because at that point I had no idea the National Guard was not going to be in Ferguson in force like we had planned them to be.'

The National Guard says our reporting is wrong.  They won`t talk on camera about it, but behind the scenes, we found this e-mail between a National Guard Captain and a Governor`s office spokesman.  Governor spokesman Scott Holste wrote, 'Yes, `aggressively dishonest` is an accurate term for Chris Hayes on Ferguson and on other stories he`s done.'  The National Guard Captain and Governor spokesman won`t talk publicly, so I asked the Governor what he believes is wrong.

Governor Jay Nixon said, 'I don`t know.'

Reporter Chris Hayes, 'Your office said my reporting was aggressively dishonest.'

Gov. Nixon, 'I don`t know.'

Hayes: 'And the National Guard asked for a correction to my reporting.'

Gov. Nixon, 'I wasn`t aware of that.'

Hayes: 'If you`re not able to back it up with facts, it might lead people to believe you`re trying to use your power to silence me.'

Gov. Nixon, 'I`m not aware to the criticism or the response to criticism so I`m not trying to silence you. You`re an important part of what we do which is provide freedom of press for the State and freedom of press for the Country and give an opportunity for all of us to interact in a public fashion.'

Again today I asked the National Guard Captain for an interview about their concerns. I`ve received no response to my last three requests.

The Guard may not be able to refuse requests from the Joint Committee on Government Accountability which will continue hearings in Jefferson City soon.


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