Minnesota GOP congressional candidate Tyler Kistner told Fox Business on Friday the Obama-era Veterans Affairs was the “worst it had ever been.”
“Under the Obama administration … our budget was cut. We had limited resources to effectively carry out our job, and Veterans Affairs was the worst it had ever been,” Kistner, a former Marine, told Fox Business. “So I stand with our president and everything he’s continuing to do for our military day in and day out.”
The former Marine is fighting for Minnesota’s Second Congressional District, a battleground just south of the Twin Cities held by incumbent Democrat Rep. Angie Craig. Craig most recently made news by joining GOP representatives to end D.C.’s “sanctuary city” status as a condition for statehood.
Kistner was responding to a recent report published by the Atlantic, which claimed that anonymous sources told the outlet that President Trump privately made disparaging comments about veterans and fallen servicemen. The article further claimed that his attitude was cause for the cancellation of a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in 2018, reportedly saying it was “filled with losers.”
Trump has issued a full-throated denial of the story, calling it “fake,” a “disgrace,” and reiterating his support for the men and women of the American military. “There’s nobody that considers the military, especially people that have given their lives in the military — to me, they’re heroes,” Trump said.
Kistner was not the only one who stepped up to defend the president. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added his experience to the controversy in an interview with Fox & Friends on Friday. “I’ve been with this president coming on four years,” he said, and “I’ve never seen that. Indeed, just the contrary.”
But the Minnesota congressional candidate reinforced the president’s words by pointing out their inconsistency with his actions: “President Trump is the one who helped increase the funding for the military, helped give us the capabilities to stand up to China, Russia, and the likes to make sure we have strong national security,” Kistner said. “He also helped increase [funding for the] Veteran Affairs to make sure that we’re taking care of our veterans after they serve.”