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CNN’s Tapper Doubles Down on Questioning Disabled Veteran Congressman’s Patriotism

”You betrayed your own voters,“ the anchor says of Rep. Brian Mast after he voted against Donald Trump’s second impeachment

CNN’s Jake Tapper doubled down Thursday on his questioning of disabled veteran Rep. Brian Mast’s patriotism and commitment to democracy. Mast voted against outgoing president Donald Trump’s impeachment Wednesday.

“I question the patriotism of anyone who spreads election lies, signs on to a mendacious Supreme Court lawsuit, and votes to disenfranchise millions of voters — including your own!! — especially with blood on the floor after a terrorist attack. You betrayed your own voters,” Tapper wrote on Twitter to Mast’s Republican colleague Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, who called the anchor a “disgrace.”

Tapper went on, “No one needs a lecture on integrity from a congressman who repeatedly pushed to disenfranchise his own constituents in service to a losing president’s fragile ego.”

Criticism from Reschenthaler and others came after Tapper said during a CNN panel Wednesday, “Congressman Brian Mast, a Republican from Florida — 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…”

Mast responded himself on Twitter and on Fox News on Thursday morning.

“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,” tweeted Mast, who questioned during Wednesday’s impeachment debate whether any of the rioters who stormed the Capitol last week should have been called to testify. 

On Thursday’s “Fox & Friends,” the congressman said, “I’m gonna say to Mr. Tapper the same thing that half of America is saying right now: Hold me to a high standard. Don’t hold me to a double standard. And me asking if any of these lawmakers that are about to vote have gone through any questioning, any hearings, have asked any questions of anybody, that’s an appropriate question and it speaks to the foundation of our democracy. It doesn’t diminish it.”

The House impeached Trump for the second time Wednesday, charging him with “incitement of an insurrection.” It was the most bipartisan impeachment in history, with 10 of Mast’s Republican peers affirming the vote.

Last Wednesday, pro-Trump demonstrators descended on the nation’s capital to protest the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win, which Trump has falsely claimed since the election was the result of widespread fraud. Numerous Republican lawmakers baked him up in this false claim. At Trump’s urging, a mob of demonstrators breached the Capitol building, sending lawmakers into lockdown and postponing the certification. At least six deaths have been associated with the riot, including those of two Capitol police officers.