Kyrsten Sinema Won’t Say If She Regrets Taliban Comment
- Democratic Arizona Senate nominee Kyrsten Sinema again declined to say if she regrets saying she would have no problem if Americans wanted to join the Taliban.
- Sinema dodged saying whether she regrets the comment, which GOP Rep. Martha McSally compared to supporting treason.
- Other radical elements of Sinema’s past have come back to haunt her campaign.
Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, her party’s nominee for Arizona’s seat in the U.S. Senate, declined to say whether she regrets saying she had no problem with Americans wanting to join the Taliban.
Audio from Sinema’s days as an anti-war activist in 2003 includes her saying, “I don’t care if you want to do that, go ahead,” when asked if she would object to Americans abandoning their country to fight with the Taliban.
Sinema was asked in an interview with the Arizona Republic’s editorial board Wednesday whether she regretted her past comments.
“I was opposed to that war in 2003, and 15 years later, that war is still going on and we’ve lost American lives,” Sinema said.
One of the Republic editors jumped in to ask whether Sinema was “just being glib” when she made the Taliban remark.
“That was an off-hand comment that was to direct the conversation back to what I wanted to talk about, which was my concerns about this war. I was against the war — 15 years later, I think there are good reasons for that,” she answered. (RELATED: PolitiFact Botched This Fact-Check About Kyrsten Sinema’s Pink Tutu)
“But you can see how that comment about the Taliban could be offensive to people on the ground?” asked one of the interviewers.
The congresswoman sidestepped that question and stressed the importance of “understanding the context in which that conversation occurred,” which she said was a “very difficult conversation.”
“I was really struggling to talk about what I wanted to speak about, so an off-hand comment to get us back on track was what I did to try to talk about the issue,” Sinema said. She did not apologize or express any regret over the comment.
Sinema’s campaign did not return a request for comment regarding her answer and whether she thinks it’s wrong for Americans to join the Taliban.
The congresswoman’s non-answers on Wednesday came two days after she avoided apologizing for the Taliban comment in Monday night’s debate with Rep. Martha McSally, the Republican candidate for Senate.
McSally, a former Air Force fighter pilot, said during the debate that Sinema’s comments amounted to supporting “treason.”
Sinema claimed during Wednesday’s interview that her critics were unfairly conflating her opposition to the war with opposition to the troops and noted that one of her brother is currently serving in the armed forces.
She did not mention that her anti-war group reportedly partnered with anarchists and witches and published flyers that depicted American soldiers as skeletons waging “terror” against women and children.
While serving in the Arizona state legislature, she raised concerns about getting rid of a loophole that allowed men caught with child prostitutes to use the child’s appearance as a defense to claim they were unaware the child was underage.
Sinema claimed it was “not fair” to get rid of the loophole, citing 12- and 13-year-old children she had seen who “look older than me.” However, she ended up voting in favor of an amended version of the bill, despite her concerns.
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