Noem, criticized for remarks, passes on 2 media sessions

South Dakota News

FILE – In this Jan. 23, 2019, file photo, Gov. Kristi Noem gives her first budget address to lawmakers at the state Capitol in Pierre, S.D. Hospitalizations from COVID-19 have hit their highest points recently throughout the Midwest, where the growth in new cases has been the worst in the nation. “In South Dakota, we didn’t take a one size fits all approach and the results have been incredible,” Gov. Kristi Noem told lawmakers in her state, which Johns Hopkins University says ranks second in the country for new cases per capita. (AP Photo/James Nord, File)

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Facing criticism for falsely accusing two Democrats who won Georgia’s Senate race of being communists, Gov. Kristi Noem has been avoiding taking direct questions from reporters in South Dakota.

The Republican governor says she won’t be talking to reporters after Tuesday’s State of the State speech, and she cancelled a news conference on Monday. Noem has been less accessible this week just as the Republican Party faces a reckoning over the riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.

She has limited her comments on that attack to a pair of tweets. Democrats say Noem’s comments must not go unchecked.

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