CNN’s Jake Tapper blasted for challenging disabled veteran Rep. Mast’s patriotism

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CNN anchor Jake Tapper has sparked intense fury for challenging the patriotism and loyalty of a Purple Heart Republican congressman who had his legs blown off while fighting for the US Army.

Tapper disputed Rep. Brian Mast’s commitment to democracy on Wednesday after the Florida lawmaker questioned whether any of the rioters who stormed the Capitol had confirmed that they did so at the behest of President Trump.

The CNN host acknowledged that the Bronze Star Army vet “lost his legs … fighting for democracy abroad” — before adding, “Although I don’t know about his commitment to it here in the United States.”

His remark soon went viral, with a clip shared by right-wing news site The Daily Caller viewed more than 2.2 million times by Thursday.

Mast — who lost both legs after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED) in 2010 while deployed in Afghanistan — was among those who retweeted the clip.

“I lost two legs for @jaketapper’s right to say whatever the hell he wants,” the vet, who has also been awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Valor, wrote.

“But that free speech also protects the Republicans he is so eager to condemn for asking Constitutional questions about the election.”

GOP Rep. Brian Mast introduces members of the National Guard to the Rotunda at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 13, 2021.GOP Rep. Brian Mast introduces members of the National Guard to the Rotunda at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 13, 2021.Shutterstock

Other vets were also quick to jump to Mast’s defense, questioning the TV anchor’s credentials for grilling a serviceman on patriotism and loyalty.

“What sacrifices have you made for America?” one Army vet, Jeremy Gilbert, asked the host.

“Brian Mast is a distinguished veteran who sacrificed his flesh and blood for us. You can question his decision here, but not his commitment to our country,” he insisted.

Many also compared it to the outrage sparked last summer when Fox News host Tucker Carlson called Senator Tammy Duckworth — another Purple Heart veteran who lost both legs in service overseas — a “coward” for wanting to debate removing national statues.

Congresswoman Young Kim CA-39, u.s. Capitol Building, Washington, Dc, United States - 03 Jan 2021

Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) stands in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 3, 2021.

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times

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Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) walks with his sons Magnum and Maverick in the US Capitol on January 03, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Getty Images

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Despite the backlash, Tapper stuck to his guns.

“You’re a hero for your service and I’m grateful,” the CNN star reporter wrote in a reply to Mast’s tweet.

But “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,” he insisted of Mast’s query during the House debate on impeachment.

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