Contra Costa County school board trustee Jeff Belle, who has previously come under fire for lying about his educational background, tweeted a flurry of insults directed at Rep. John Lewis, liberals and “evil media” over the weekend.
“John Lewis is a ‘has been.’ A sore loser who has not served his constituents in Georgia,” Belle wrote at 9:41 p.m. on Sunday. He followed that up with a string of other tweets that made similar claims:
If Lewis believes President-elect Trump is not legitimate, then it could be possible Cong.Lewis is a self-serving civil rights leader? https://t.co/bdKiaWCZml — Jeff Belle (@jeff_belle) January 16, 2017
The social media missives were prompted by comments Lewis' made earlier in the week, when he said on CNN that Trump wasn't a "legitimate president." Throughout the course of the last election, Belle has been a vehement supporter of the real estate mogul.
Belle's tweets about Lewis drew the ire of his followers in a matter of minutes. In an odd turn of events, the school board trustee then proceeded to respond to his critics using religious references.
“Jesus dislikes you and the corrupt media," he wrote to one detractor. "You and a whole army of devils from hell could not prevail against me."
Belle responded to a request for comment on Wednesday, writing in an email that he would be available to speak on Friday. But then he apparently changed his mind. Instead, NBC Bay Area spoke with his attorney, Carol Hehmeyer, who said she was unaware of the tweets.
She did, however, defend him on past allegations of fraud and misrepresentation.
“He is reluctant to talk to the press because they have lied about him in the past,” she said. “It’s really been a nightmare. I suspect it’s because he’s black. I’m not sure what else it could be.”
The school board trustee previously received 20 hours of community service for a misdemeanor charge of lying on election paperwork about having a bachelor's degree. He has also been cited for practicing respiratory care without a license and has faced charges in Oklahoma and Florida for bogus checks. His ex-wife — who started a support group called Women Against Con Men after the pair broke up — alleges that he left her $35,000 in credit card debt, according to the East Bay Times.
Hehmeyer said the reports are lies and misunderstandings due to unpaid bills, calling the coverage of Belle a “media witch hunt." At one point, she said that Belle was unaware he didn’t have a bachelor's degree, and therefore he did not technically lie on election paperwork.
“If he thought he graduated, he didn’t violate the section,” she said. “He still thinks he graduated.”
Belle is up for re-election in November of 2018.