LONDON (Reuters) - Northern Ireland's first minister said the European Union's promise of legal action over the UK extending grace periods for trade showed its priority was protecting the trading bloc, not the Belfast peace agreement. "What they're only interested in is protecting their bloc, they're not interested, as they claim to be, in protecting the Belfast agreement," Arlene Foster told BBC radio on Friday. "If they were, they would not be taking the action that they're taking a present." The European Union said on Wednesday it would take legal action after the British government unilate...
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During his first bid for Congress in 2020, Republican candidate Tyler Kistner repeatedly suggested he saw combat while in the U.S. Marine Corps, despite military records that say otherwise.
A spokesman says Kistner was referring to the fact that he led combat missions, advising and assisting “partner forces” against violent extremist organizations in the non-combat region of North Africa.
If he saw combat, he would have received a combat action ribbon, and Kistner acknowledges he never earned one. The military considers combat to be engaging with the enemy on the ground in a combat zone.
Several local TV stations recently took down an ad saying Kistner had “four combat deployments” at the request of VoteVets, a progressive veterans organization supporting U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, who is in a tight rematch with Kistner in the 2nd Congressional District.
VoteVets asked KARE, KSTP, KMSP, WCCO and several streaming services to take down the ad. The group said Kistner served four overseas tours — not four combat deployments — in non-combat regions such as Japan and Korea. The ad, paid for by the GOP Super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund, ran in various outlets Sept. 11-29, according to VoteVets.
Kistner’s military record was also a matter of debate when he ran in 2020, losing to Craig by 2 percentage points.
In the run-up to the 2020 GOP nominating convention, Kistner called himself “the most decorated military member” in the race. One of his Republican opponents, Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Erika Cashin, called on Kistner to release his DD214 form — military service records that would indicate whether he served in armed combat.
Initially, Kistner declined, citing the need for confidentiality, telling the Prior Lake American newspaper, “Even basic details could help foreign adversaries and put other service members at risk.”
After the newspaper itself requested the military records and additional candidates called on Kistner to release the records, Kistner relented. His DD214 shows he was honorably discharged at the rank of captain. Kistner shared the records in an email to supporters in 2020, writing that he had never claimed to be a combat veteran. That prompted Cashin to put out a press release outlining multiple times Kistner used language that would lead a listener to think he was a combat veteran:
During a January 2020 candidate forum, Kistner said he put his enemy “six feet under.”
In a March 2020 candidate forum, Kistner said “I’ve been on the wrong end of a loaded weapon.”
In an April 2020 virtual town hall with the Minnesota Young Republicans (41:45), Kistner referred to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and said, “I’ve been in such conflicts.”
Cashin confirmed in an interview that during the 2020 campaign, Kistner said he “put his enemy six feet under” and has “been on the wrong end of a loaded weapon.”
She said she never saw combat in the Air Force, either, but said Kistner implied that he did, which she said influenced GOP delegates who went on to endorse him.
The Reformer has obtained additional examples of Kistner implying he saw combat action:
During a February 2020 candidate forum, Kistner said, “I’ve been in fights, I’ve been in combat. I know exactly what it’s gonna take.”
In October 2020, during a Voice of India Community Town Hall, Kistner said, “As a veteran, I deployed to the front lines six months at a time, and my family was back in this country.”
In a March 2020 candidate forum (48:40), Kistner said “I’ve had guns drawn on me overseas in defense of our nation.”
According to the Marine Corps awards manual, service members must engage the enemy, be under hostile fire, or be physically attacked by the enemy to be awarded a combat action ribbon. The manual says, “The principal eligibility criterion is that the individual must have rendered satisfactory performance under enemy fire while actively participating in a ground or surface combat engagement.”
Kistner campaign consultant Billy Grant said Kistner’s “six feet under” comment was a reference to Marine Special Operations combat missions Kistner led where the “partner force effectively killed more than eight violent extremist organizations in the North African region.”
As the commanding officer, it wasn’t Kistner’s job to fire his rifle, but he was in charge of the maneuvering and coordination of all personnel and support, Grant said. The “partner force” — referring to allied countries’ military forces — in three combat missions did exchange and receive fire, Grant said, and had seven casualties after an improvised explosive device exploded. Kistner facilitated the evacuation of seven injured allied personnel, he said.
Grant said Kistner’s comment about being on the “wrong end of a loaded weapon” and having guns drawn on him “while in defense of our nation” was a reference to when he got into an argument with one of the allied military commanders, who pulled a pistol on him.
“Ultimately, the argument was resolved and nobody was hurt,” Grant said. “No weapon was fired during this situation.”
Kistner’s comment about having been in “such conflicts” as the Afghanistan and Iraq wars was a reference to his involvement in the broader war on violent extremists, in which American forces were battling some of the same foes as in Afghanistan and Iraq, Grant said.
In North Africa, Kistner dealt with foreign ISIS fighters returning to their home countries after the fall of the ISIS caliphate in Iraq, Grant said. Kistner led three combat missions against “these same ISIS fighters from Iraq,” he said.
Regarding Kistner’s comment that he’s been in “fights” and “combat,” Grant said Kistner received an award citation for leading three combat missions in North Africa, where he was responsible for command and control of U.S. and allied nation forces.
Kistner is not the first Republican of late to face questions about his service record. U.S. House candidate J.R. Majewski’s Ohio campaign went into a tailspin after the Air Force couldn’t corroborate his claim that he served in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Majewski’s military record was scrutinized after the Associated Press reported that Majewski never deployed to Afghanistan; he’d done a six-month stint helping load planes at a Qatar air base.
“It dishonors those who have served,” VoteVets Chair Jon Soltz said of Kistner’s statements. “It is also totally disqualifying. Voters should hold Kistner responsible for misrepresenting his service and allowing this lie to perpetuate.”
Cashin said while Kistner served with honor, she wants to make sure veterans are given “appropriate due” for their service.
“You always want to represent your service with honor and integrity,” she said.
She was in the military for 26 years, and sent people to deployment and received bodies back at Mortuary Affairs at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
“I understand the implications of trying to overstate what you’re doing,” she said. “Don’t misrepresent what your service means.”
Asked if she supports Kistner for Congress, Cashin said she no longer lives in Minnesota and hasn’t been paying attention to the race.
“He has served his country,” she said.
Anyone who serves, she said, “is definitely someone to be admired.”
Minnesota Reformer is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Minnesota Reformer maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Patrick Coolican for questions: email@example.com. Follow Minnesota Reformer on Facebook and Twitter.
Kellyanne Conway is now a religious right crusader using Christianity to attack Democrats as a paid Fox News contributor
Former Trump 2016 campaign manager and Senior Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway has remade herself multiple times. A pollster who once had as a client Todd Akin – the GOP lawmaker who made the phrase, "if it's a legitimate rape" infamous – Conway also did polling for Donald Trump when he was considering a run for New York governor.
Once inside the White House Conway was one of the newsiest officials, often appearing before the Fox News cameras almost daily.
Fox News viewers will once again get to see the former top Trump aide almost daily – this time as a paid Fox News contributor who is using her Christian faith as a sword to attack Democrats.
Conway is the latest Trump White House official to be hired by Fox News, and while she's not Trump's spokesperson any longer, she may wrangle the gig into getting her old one back. Puck reports she is being considered to helm Trump's expected 2024 presidential run.
In fact, the two have something in common.
"I will tell you why he wants to run for president," Conways told CBS News on Friday. "Donald Trump wants his old job back."
Conway joins a long list of her former colleagues at what has become a far right wing media outlet catering to promoting anything Trump, while downplaying any negative news about the former president who is currently being investigated by prosecutors in Georgia and the U.S. Dept. of Justice for an array of possible felonies, reportedly including ones under the Espionage Act.
Conway will be right at home working alongside Kayleigh McEnany, Mike Pompeo, Larry Kudlow, and Trump's daughter-in-law and former Trump campaign official Lara Trump.
In April Vox reported that "while he hasn’t been hired by Fox, former Trump adviser Stephen Miller — known for helping to develop Trump’s nativist immigration policy — has become a fixture as a guest on Sean Hannity’s and Laura Ingraham’s shows."
"Since the start of President Joe Biden’s term," Media Matters reported in February, "Fox News has hired at least nine editors who previously worked for former President Donald Trump's administration, Republican campaign offices, or Republican politicians. Many of those editors now cover politics for FoxNews.com."
On Tuesday Conway appeared on Fox News and attacked Democrats, saying Hispanic voters "see a Democratic Party that’s openly hostile to religion. They can’t even give their thoughts and prayers when there’s a tragedy. It’s only thoughts now."
The Washington Post's Philip Bump calls Conway's analysis "overly simple and, in part, ... explicitly dishonest."
"Kellyanne Conway claimed that Democrats are hostile religion, something that will surprise the vast majority of Democrats, who are religious," he adds on Twitter. "There's a reason that 'religious' doesn't automatically mean 'Republican.'"
One day earlier, in a segment with a chyron that reads, "The Importance of Religion," Conway told her former and now current colleague, Larry Kudlow on Fox Business, “People are afraid to make the sign of a cross before a meal in public, they’re afraid to express their — they actually think their religion could get them canceled now, not just their politics, and think about that.”
Conway, perhaps best known for her "alternative facts" flub, offered no proof of her claim.
The View unleashes on conservative Dana Loesch for attacking 'skanks' to defend Herschel Walker's promiscuity
The age-old double standard was the topic for the table of the co-hosts at "The View" on Wednesday, as Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker's latest scandal persisted.
Walker was exposed as a hypocrite for claiming to be a virtuous pro-life conservative when he was sleeping with tons of women, having several children out of wedlock and paying for abortions for other women. Former NRA TV host Dana Loesch attacked the women as "skanks," which didn't sit well with the hosts of "The View."
"First of all, ma'am," Whoopi Goldberg began, "there's a lot of women who find themselves in a position of having to have an abortion. How dare you call them skanks, first of all? And I believe the whole point is that Walker is saying, I believe that this is murder. And has paid, supposedly, for women to have abortions. That's the point. If you are going to -- if we're going to have these discussions, please stick to them and not go off calling people names because I'm keeping calling you a name out of my mouth because it's not the right thing to do."
Republican commentator Alyssa Farah Griffin called it "the moral rot that is taking over my party." She said she refused to defend someone like Walker and Loesch.
"As a pro-life woman to hear someone else like Dana who is pro-life, call women who get into situations where they need abortions skanks, I will not defend that. This is an interesting topic that we're weighing into this. I think, listen. Herschel Walker, the hypocrisy there is very, very clear. I tend to trust people more by their actions than by their words. His actions were he tried to pay for his mistress' abortion. Don't try to legislate something differently when you are running for office."
Sunny Hostin was disgusted that Loesch would purport to be pro-life while supporting the AR-15
"We should be allowed to kill life with that, yet now also she's saying women that have abortions are skanks and that it's okay to have that abortion if your man is paying for it?" she asked. "What do the Republicans stand for? I mean, it seems to me it was really easy to define conservative principles. You've mentioned them many times. Ana has mentioned them many times. Sara has mentioned them many times. Limiting the size and reach of government, reducing taxes, strengthening national defense and holding firm traditional, moral values. What the hell was that that we just saw?"
Walker maintains that he never paid for an abortion but he sends people money all the time. He also sent the woman a "get well" card.
Watch video below or at this link.