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Jake Tapper questions loyalties of GOP Rep who lost legs in Iraq, doubles down when U.S. vet responds!

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Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story reported Rep. Brian Mast lost limbs while serving in Iraq; in fact, he sustained his wounds in Afghanistan in 2010. This story has been updated to reflect the correction. We regret the error.

CNN host Jake Tapper on Wednesday doubled down in questioning the loyalties of Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), a U.S. Army veteran who lost limbs while serving in Afghanistan, because the lawmaker signed onto challenges regarding the presidential election results.

During a panel discussion on his network, as House Democrats were rushing towards impeaching President Donald Trump following last week’s Capitol Building riot, Tapper noted, “Congressman Brian Mast… who lost his legs, by the way, fighting for democracy abroad, although I don’t know — about his commitment to it here in the United States…”

In response on Twitter, Mast defended Tapper but also himself and other Republicans who objected to electors from some states they believe unconstitutionally altered voting rules and procedures ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

“I lost two legs for @jaketapper’s right to say whatever the hell he wants, but that free speech also protects the Republicans he is so eager to condemn for asking Constitutional questions about the election,” he wrote in a post Wednesday afternoon that included a video clip of Tapper making his comment.

Tapper replied that he was “grateful” for Mast’s military service but went on to accuse the former Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) technician of “sedition.”

“You’re a hero for your service and I’m grateful, as I’ve said before. And yes i question the commitment to democracy of anyone who spread election lies, signed onto that deranged TX AG lawsuit, and voted to commit sedition. You were not just asking questions,” Tapper wrote.

Several people ripped the CNN host for his comments.

“Jake, as a Jew you may want to put the breaks on normalizing the terms sedition and coup which leads to questioning people’s patriotism. Jews of all stripes in all generations were the ones to suffer from such stuff. Party can’t come before your heritage,” Yossi Gestetner, founder of OJPAC, which fights antisemitism and bigotry against Orthodox Jews, wrote.

“Now to merit: You helped question the integrity of the 2016 elections; the other side is doing the same. You built that. Voting against states’ electors has been done many times including post-2016. Since it’s a procedural/legal/civil option, it’s not sedition,” he added.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) introduced a single article of impeachment on Tuesday that accused President Trump of inciting insurrection after at least some of his supporters took part in an assault on the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6.

But that now seems unlikely. The FBI and the New York Police Department warned Capitol Police that intelligence indicated an attack was being planned online in advance of the rally last week in support of the president.

One senior FBI official told NBC News that before the rally and the assault, the bureau “obtained credible and actionable information” about more than a dozen people “who were planning on traveling to the protests who expressed a desire to engage in violence.”

Capitol Police and other law enforcement officials said following the breach of the building that they had no prior knowledge of any planned violence.

Regarding Tapper’s allegations, Mast and more than 100 other Republicans backed a lawsuit filed by Texas and enjoined by several other states objecting to slates of electors in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

Executive Branch officials and courts in those states signed off on changes to existing election laws in the weeks before Nov. 3 greatly expanding mail-in balloting, weakening voter verification procedures, and extending deadlines to receive ballots, among other changes.

The Texas lawsuit asserted those changes violated Article II, Sect. 1, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which says only state legislatures can change voting rules and laws.

The case went directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, the only federal court the Constitution authorizes to hear disputes between states. But justices rejected it, claiming Texas had no standing to sue.

Tapper railed against the lawsuit at the time.

Jon Dougherty

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