CNN’s Brianna Keilar pressed Democratic Guam Delegate Michael San Nicolas on Wednesday over his use of National Guard soldiers in a “political stunt.”
During her broadcast of “CNN Newsroom,” Keilar discussed with Nicolas the criticism he’s received for taking soldiers to the office of Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to deliver cookies in response to her claim that Guam was not part of America. She noted to Nicolas that the stunt could cause the soldiers to be “investigated” for political activity and asked “why put them in this position?” (RELATED: Washington Holds Guam Back, Despite Not Knowing Where It Is)
Keilar began the segment by playing a video clip of Greene giving a speech at CPAC, in which she inferred that Guam was not part of the U.S. Keilar explained that Guam is actually a U.S. territory before playing a video clip showing Nicolas and the soldiers delivering the cookies to Greene’s office in response to her statements. She then introduced Nicolas and asked if he thought about any of the “negative ramifications there could be” for the military because of his decision to take the soldiers with him to Greene’s office.
“Yeah, we don’t see that at all, actually. We were taking our guardsmen on a tour of the Capitol. We actually visited multiple member offices,” Nicolas responded. “We tried to deliver cookies to Congresswoman Greene … We were very honored to be able to take our guardsmen on a tour. It was maybe the third one that I’ve done … and they’re very honored to meet members of Congress and we were really hopeful to be able to meet Congresswoman Greene.”
“I know that you’re getting a lot of criticism from conservatives, from her supporters, but you are also getting a lot of criticism from civilian military experts, who would in no way defend the congresswoman’s comments, and they are critical of you, an elected official, using military service members, as they see it, as political props. What do you say to that criticism?” Keilar asked.
Nicolas responded that the criticism was “unfounded” and that he was not using military service members as “political props.” He added that he was just giving them a tour and stopping by offices to deliver “goodies” and extend “goodwill.”
Keilar then mentioned an instance during the 2020 Democratic National Convention when soldiers from American Samoa “got in trouble” for appearing in a video as representatives of the territory while in uniform. She added that it’s a possibility something like that could happen in situations like this. “Why would you put them in that position of potentially being investigated?” she asked.
“I don’t think we put them in that position at all,” Nicolas answered before he was interrupted by Keilar saying that he indeed did put those members of the military in “a tough spot.”
Keilar continued to press the issue for the remainder of the interview, with Nicolas responding that the situation was being blown “out of proportion.”
“As far as us bringing the military into anything, I was giving my guardsmen a tour. We were going around saying hello and spreading goodwill, and actually that statement is very much shared with our guard leadership back home, and if there’s going to be anything that the military’s going to look at, we would absolutely welcome it because there was absolutely no ill intent and no politicization whatsoever,” he concluded.