A congressman speaking with someone who stopped him in public constitutes endorsement of that random stranger’s politics, according to CNN.
“GOP congressional candidate Joe Kent gave a previously unreported interview in June to a Nazi sympathizer and White nationalist, despite disavowing White nationalism last spring when one of its adherents endorsed him,” commented CNN reporter Em Steck in a Twitter post.
The Daily Wire further reported:
In an article titled “GOP congressional candidate Joe Kent’s ties to white nationalists include interview with Nazi sympathizer,” CNN’ K-File newsletter reported that Washington Republican House candidate Joe Kent gave an interview to a blogger who has a history of white nationalist and anti-Semitic remarks.
But the outlet also published a statement from the Kent campaign saying that he had no idea who the individual was. The Kent campaign and conservatives slammed CNN for attempting to smear Kent anyway.
According to CNN, the individual in question “has a well-documented history of making White nationalist, racist, antisemitic and pro-Nazi statements.” That individual has been photographed at a Kent campaign event. The outlet also shared video of the interview, in which the individual can be seen talking to Kent on a sidewalk. But CNN also published comments from Kent campaign spokesman Matt Braynard, who told the outlet that the individual approached Kent on the street and asked for an interview.
Braynard also published the campaign’s full comment on Twitter. “Joe Kent had no idea who that individual was when he encountered him on the street and [he] has repeatedly condemned the statements that the individual is accused of making,” he wrote. “[W]e screen all interview requests, but at the time, Joe was approached on the street by what he assumed was just a citizen journalist and a constituent, so in support of local journalism, Joe answered his questions. None of the questions gave Joe any indications that the individual had any racist or antisemitic views, and if he had, Joe would have cancelled the interview immediately.” Braynard also said the individual is in no way associated with the campaign.
Kent himself also fired back at CNN on his personal Twitter account. “I fought for our nation for over 20 yrs w/ Americans of every race & would gladly do so again,” he tweeted. “White nationalists sided w/ my opponents & spent money against me in the primary. I’m proud to be viewed as a threat by white nationalists, antifa, democrats & @CNN.”
Prior to her role at KFILE, Ms. Steck covered the Russia investigation in Washington D.C. for CNN, according to her network bio.