Fri 10 March 2023 9:38, UK

Randy McNally is under fire after commenting on gay man Franklyn McClur’s racy Instagram pics, but insists he did nothing “sinister or inappropriate”.

The 79-year-old is currently serving as the 50th lieutenant governor of Tennessee since 2017 and is a member of the Republican Party.

McNally has got 4,300 followers on Instagram where he describes himself as a public servant, husband, dad, grandfather, governor, and speaker.

The politician is being slammed for the comments online but said he simply enjoys interacting with his constituents on social media.

This comes as Tennessee is currently trying to move more anti-LGBTQ bills through legislature than any other state. 

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Who is Franklyn McClur on Instagram?

Franklyn is a 20-year-old gay man from Knoxville, Tennessee.

Randy has been the state senator from the 5th district since 1987, which includes Anderson, Loudon, and part of Knox County.

He goes by the name Franklyn Superstar on Instagram where he has 2,700 followers and often posts racy snaps in his underwear or nothing at all.

The internet user aspires to move to Los Angeles and be a performer and also uses the nickname Finn on social media.

TN Holler first reported the comments and Franklyn told the publication he and McNally became friends on Facebook through mutual friends.

He added that he always found the comments a bit “random” but never made an association with the anti-LGBTQ legislature.

“I just thought he was older and out of touch. I’ve always taken it as a compliment. I don’t dislike him or think he’s a bad person, he’s one of the only people who has consistently uplifted me and made me feel good,” Franklyn said.

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Randy McNally comments on Franklyn’s photos

For months, the politician has been commenting on Franklyn’s photos from his verified profile and they are all still visible.

McNally commented twice on one January 7 post in which the Instagram user is showing off his behind in tight underwear.

He shared some emojis “❤️❤️❤️🔥🔥🔥” and in a separate comment wrote: “Finn, you can turn a rainy day into rainbows and sunshine!”

The Republican commented on another post on February 26, writing: “🔥🔥🔥 way to go Finn!!! You light up the world!!”

On other posts, he has commented red heart emojis, written “Love it💕”, shared a clapping hands emoji, and posted: “Super look Finn!”

The Instagram user often replies to the remarks too, writing “Thank you so much, Randy” and: “You are literally always so nice.”

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Politician’s team responds

Reporter Walter Murphy received a response from the senator’s communications director and shared a screenshot of the statement on Twitter.

“Trying to imply something sinister or inappropriate about a great-grandfather’s use of social media says more about the mind of the left-wing operative making the implication,” it says.

The response goes on to describe the governor as a “prolific social media commenter” and said he “takes great pains to view every post he can”.

McNally “frequently posts encouraging things to his followers,” the statement continues before agreeing that he may not have used the best emoji choice.

“He enjoys interacting with constituents and Tennesseeans of all religions, backgrounds and orientations on social media. He has no intention of stopping.”

In other news, Is Senator John Kennedy related to JFK or the ex-President's family?