Rep. Mast Hits Back After CNN’s Tapper Questions His Patriotism

Rep. Mast Hits Back After CNN's Tapper Questions His Patriotism brian mast talks at hearing Representative Brian Mast (R-Fla.) (Michael Brochstein/Sipa via AP Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Thursday, 14 January 2021 10:21 AM

Rep. Brian Mast, who lost his legs while serving in the military in Afghanistan, Thursday hit back at a CNN anchor who questioned his patriotism over his line of questioning during the House impeachment arguments.

"My commitment to our democracy, my country is unwavering," the Florida Republican said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "I love this place so much it literally breaks my heart to see the divide that exists in it."

Wednesday night, CNN anchor Jake Tapper questioned Mast's patriotism after the Army veteran opposed President Donald Trump's impeachment, commenting that even though Mast "lost his legs, by the way, fighting for democracy abroad" he doesn't know "about his commitment to it here in the United States," reports Fox News.

During Wednesday's comments on impeachment, Mast asked if anyone who had been arrested for their part in the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol had been questioned about whether Trump's speech before the incidents had incited them.

"It is worth getting to the bottom of before you rush to judgment and that is the foundation of democracy," Mast said Thursday. "Me asking if any of these lawmakers that are about to vote have gone through any questioning, any hearings, asked any questions of anybody, that is an appropriate question and speaks to the foundation of our democracy. It doesn't diminish it."

Mast also criticized Rep. Eric Swalwell for his comments comparing Trump to terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. The California Democrat on Tuesday told PBS that bin Laden didn't enter U.S. soil on Sept. 11 but was widely acknowledged as having inspired it, reports The Hill.

Trump, he said, "called for trial by combat" and that is "hate speech that inspired and radicalized people to storm the Capitol."

"Somebody on the Intelligence Committee would take the time to know the history of our enemies and Osama bin Laden didn't speak just to inspire individuals, he was an individual that literally planned the attacks in Kenya and Tanzania, 9/11, and others," said Mast. "He was a planner of attacks, that is what he's likening the president to which is totally inaccurate."

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