- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 3, 2016

Montel Williams is threatening legal action against North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory after the Republican incumbent’s re-election bid used an excerpt from a television interview with the former talk show host in a campaign ad released this week.

Mr. Williams, an outspoken supporter for the Democratic candidate for office, Roy Cooper, responded with outrage on Twitter early Friday after seeing himself in an ad shared by the McCrory campaign’s official account.

The ad begins with a clip of Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly saying the words “the war on cops” before cutting to a CNN interview featuring the host of The Montel Williams Show.

“The rhetoric has been ratcheted up way too high,” Mr. Williams says in the CNN clip shown immediately after Mr. Reilly’s remarks.

“WTF? It takes some balls for @PatMcCroryNC to use my face in one of his political ads,” Mr. Williams tweeted Friday.

A spokesman for the television personality demanded an apology in a statement released soon after and said he denounces both his the governor’s ad and re-election bid “in the strongest possible terms.”

“There do not exist words to describe how disgusted Mr. Williams is that Gov. McCrory, whose record of bigotry we have been fighting for months, would have the audacity to use a clip of an interview Mr. Williams gave in a bold face attempt to put a black face on what is an indisputable record of bigotry,” the statement said.

Ricky Diaz, a spokesman for the McCrory camp, said on Twitter that the campaign “thought we’d highlight one area that Gov & Montel Williams agree.”

“We refuse to apologize. Supporting our police [is] not [about] politics. @PatMcCroryNC understands that. Maybe Montel doesn’t?” the spokesman tweeted.

By Friday evening, the Williams team was readying a legal fight.

“The @PatMcCroryNC campaign can expect to hear from @Montel_Williams lawyers soon,” Mr. Franks tweeted Friday night. “We intend to be a very expensive headache for Lyin’ Pat.”

“I can afford to litigate for sake of it,” Mr. Williams said in a tweet of his own.

Mr. Williams has been an outspoken critic of the governor in response to Mr. McCrory’s support for House Bill 2, legislation that restricts which restrooms transgender people are allowed to use. In May, Mr. Williams had a chocolate cake with “#lovewins” and “#repealHB2” written in icing delivered to the office of one of its proponents, N.C. House Majority Leader Mike Hager.

“Consider this chocolate cake diplomacy, one conservative to another,” Mr. Williams said in a statement at the time. The TV host was campaigning for then-GOP candidate John Kasich before the Ohio governor dropped out, and subsequently announced his support the Democratic Party’s nominee, Hillary Clinton.

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