Embattled GOP Candidate Doubles Down On Military Service After Report He Lied

Screenshot via YouTube/J.R. Majewski for Congress

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Republican Ohio congressional candidate JR Majewski doubled down on his assertion that he served in Afghanistan, releasing on Friday service records showing a classified assignment.

The Associated Press (AP) reported Wednesday that Majewski, a passenger operations specialist in the Air Force, lied about serving in Afghanistan to The Columbus Dispatch in 2020. The National Republican Congressional Committee canceled nearly $1 million in advertising promoting Majewski on Thursday. The Republican is running against Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a top target for the GOP, in Ohio’s Ninth District.

Majewski released a temporary duty form from April 2001 showing him approved for travel from Kadena Air Force Base in Japan to a classified location. The U.S. did not formally declare war on the Taliban until October 2001, and covert operations in the country from before then have not been reported.

During a Friday press conference, Majewski threatened to sue the AP for publishing the story, which he said put his life, his family’s life, and his team’s life “at risk.” He added that he was considering releasing photos of himself in country. (RELATED: GOP Senate Candidate Kathy Barnette Repeatedly Misrepresented Military Service, Records Show)

“This story was placed by the liberal media and my opponent, Marcy Kaptur, with the malicious intent of not only destroying my political campaign, but also my character,” Majewski said.

“The Air Force has explicitly stated that there is no way for us to verify whether JR Majewski served in Afghanistan during his deployment time-frame in Qatar,” he continued. “While the Associated Press was able to get documents on my record and mischaracterize them, veterans like myself have to wait months to get the facts and deal with a broken system. That’s why the first day in Congress, I am going to work on streamlining these processes and end the red tape for veterans once and for all. I will work with my colleagues to introduce legislation to make it a crime to besmirch veterans and end this nonsense once and for all.”

Majewski said in an Aug. 25, 2021 tweet that he would “go back to Afghanistan” to save Americans trapped in the country after it fell to the Taliban. The Columbus Dispatch also reported in a 2020 interview with Majewski that he spent 40 days in Afghanistan without showering.

The NRCC pulled a $960,000 ad buy in the Toledo market one day after the AP published its story. Kaptur has represented the Ninth District since 1983, although redistricting swung it 22 points toward the GOP.