CNN anchor Jake Tapper has sparked fury after questioning the democratic integrity of a Republican lawmaker whose legs were blown off while fighting for freedom.
Mast was also among more than a hundred GOP lawmakers who voted against the general election results last week, shortly before a mob of Trump’s supporters raided the Capitol.
Tapper said last night: ‘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 – he said did anybody say that. Yes we heard them.’
CNN anchor Jake Tapper yesterday questioned Brian Mast’s commitment to Democracy in the United States
Representative Brian Mast (R-Fla.), who lost his legs to an IED in Afghanistan, greets National Guard troops inside the Capitol on Wednesday
Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., left, visits with National Guard troops who are helping with security at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington on Wednesday
Following a furious backlash on Twitter, Wade and Tapper addressed each other on social media – with the CNN host refusing to back down
The CNN host seemed to be referring to a speech made by Mast yesterday during which he asked the House if anyone who stormed the Capitol had explicitly been asked whether they had rioted because of the president.
During the debate, Mast said: ‘I rise with a very simple question. On January 6, thousands broke the law by taking siege of our Capitol here with us inside.
‘Has any one of those individuals who brought violence on this Capitol been brought here to answer whether they did that because of our president?’
Following a furious backlash on Twitter, Wade and Tapper addressed each other on social media – with the CNN host refusing to back down.
Mast said: ‘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.’
But doubling down on his statement, Tapper replied: ‘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’s comment about Mast’s democratic integrity had earlier upset many who took to social media to demand an apology.
Representative Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), a fellow veteran, commented: ‘Representative Mast, along with myself and many others in Congress and across the country, served in the military so Americans can have freedom of speech, regardless of how repulsive or disgusting it may be.’
Host of the Rubin Report, Dave Rubin, tweeted: ‘This might be the most vile thing ever said on cable news. Tapper was CNN’s last hope and he turned out to be the absolute worst.’
Mast said that he will be discussing Tapper’s comments further on a Thursday appearance on Fox and Friends.
The House yesterday voted to impeach Trump 232-197, making him the first president in history to be impeached twice.
Ten of Trump’s fellow Republicans joined Democrats in approving the article of impeachment.
But the swift impeachment is unlikely to lead to Trump’s ouster before Biden takes office on January 20.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, rejected Democratic calls for a quick impeachment trial, saying there was no way to finish it before Trump leaves office.
That raised the prospect of a bitter trial in the Senate during Biden’s first days in the White House, something he urged Senate leaders to avoid.
Biden said work on the economy, getting the coronavirus vaccine program on track and confirming crucial Cabinet posts was too crucial to delay.
‘I hope that the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with their Constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation,’ Biden said in a statement on Wednesday night.
The House passed one article of impeachment – equivalent to an indictment in a criminal trial – accusing Trump of ‘incitement of insurrection,’ focused on an incendiary speech he delivered to thousands of supporters shortly before the riot.
In the speech, Trump repeated false claims that the election was fraudulent and exhorted supporters to march on the Capitol.
The mob disrupted Congress’s certification of Biden’s victory over Trump in the November 3 election, sent lawmakers into hiding and left five people dead, including a police officer.