Katy Tur defends ‘a few misplaced words’ by Blumenthal about Vietnam service
MSNBC anchor Katy Tur defended Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) from President Trump’s criticism this week, saying the senator “took full responsibility for what he called a few misplaced words” regarding his false claim that he served in Vietnam.
The defense comes as President Trump argued Monday that his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, was treated unfairly by Democratic senators and specifically Blumenthal during testimony before the Supreme Court Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
“Look at Blumenthal. Lied about Vietnam for 15 years, and he said he was a war hero,” Trump said to reporters in the Rose Garden. “He said he was Da Nang Richard.”
“He says we need honesty and we need integrity,” Trump continued. “This guy lied. When he was the attorney general of Connecticut, he lied. I do not mean a little bit.”
After Tur played the clip of Trump’s remarks on Blumenthal, she ran a fact check on their veracity.
“[Let’s] fact check on what he said about Senator Blumenthal,” Tur said on Monday afternoon during her MSNBC news hour. “He was claiming that Senator Blumenthal said that he served in Da Nang in Vietnam and bragged about serving in Da Nang in Vietnam but was lying about it and got caught about lying about it.”
“Senator Blumenthal did say in 2010, according to a New York Times article from back then, that he served in Vietnam. Not that he served in Da Nang or any particular province, that he served in Vietnam,” she continued.
“When he was confronted with the fact that he didn’t actually serve in Vietnam, he was only in the Marine reserve at time, he said, ‘I meant the Vietnam era,’ but took full responsibility for what he called a few misplaced words,” Tur concluded.
Blumenthal’s false Vietnam service claims came on eight different occasions over the course of the previous decade from 2003 to 2008, according to multiple other fact-checks, including in March 2008 when the then-Connecticut attorney general spoke at a ceremony honoring veterans.
“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Blumenthal said in Norwalk, Conn., at the time. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”
In 2003, Blumenthal said of soldiers returning from the Iraq War at a rally attended by 100 military families that, “When we returned [from Vietnam], we saw nothing like this. Let us do better by this generation of men and women.”
In 2010, Blumenthal, who received five military deferments before enlisting in the Marine Reserves, said he may have “misspoken” about his service but would not allow “anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country.”
“On a few occasions I have misspoken about my service, and I regret that and I take full responsibility,” Blumenthal said at news conference at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Hartford, Conn. “But I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country.”
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