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Tapper battles GOP lawmakers over criticism of Afghan vet's Electoral College vote

Tapper battles GOP lawmakers over criticism of Afghan vet's Electoral College vote
© Greg Nash

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperOfficials brace for second Trump impeachment trial Sunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration Durbin says he won't whip votes for Trump's second impeachment trial MORE and Rep. Brian MastBrian Jeffrey MastTapper battles GOP lawmakers over criticism of Afghan vet's Electoral College vote Republican war veteran gives Guard troops a tour of the Capitol LIVE COVERAGE: House votes to impeach Trump after Capitol insurrection MORE (R-Fla.), a veteran who lost both legs in Afghanistan, are criticizing one another after the CNN star questioned Mast's commitment to democracy over his votes to throw out the Electoral College votes for Pennsylvania and Arizona.

Conservatives have seized on the fight, which started when CNN's Dana BashDana BashSenators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Sunday shows - Biden agenda, Trump impeachment trial dominate HHS nominee: Country is in a COVID-19 'nosedive' MORE on Wednesday said Mast was among the Republicans who said no members of the mob that attacked the Capitol last week did so at President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE's behest.

The House impeached Trump on Wednesday on a single charge of inciting the mob that attacked the Capitol during a joint session's certification of the Electoral College results. Mast's votes against the results in Arizona and Pennsylvania came after the mob attack.

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“What you’re saying right now is relevant, because [Mast], a Republican from Florida — who lost his legs, by the way, fighting for democracy abroad, although I don’t know about his commitment to it here in the United States,” Tapper told Bash during the broadcast. 

Mast then criticized Tapper on Twitter for those remarks. 

“I lost two legs for @jaketapper's right to say whatever the hell he wants, but that free speech also protects the Republicans he is so eager to condemn for asking Constitutional questions about the election,” he tweeted.

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Other conservatives have also seized on Tapper's remarks to criticize him online.

And Mast, who was photographed giving a tour of the Capitol to National Guard troops on Wednesday, was invited on “Fox & Friends” Thursday, in part to discuss Tapper.

Mast said his commitment to democracy was “unwavering” and that American society must get to the point where “I can say this is why I think you’re wrong and we can have a real debate and hopefully you end up learning something about each other instead of just coming away with two people that are pissed off at one another.”

Tapper on Thursday blasted Rep. Guy ReschenthalerGuy ReschenthalerTapper battles GOP lawmakers over criticism of Afghan vet's Electoral College vote READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Cleaver concludes congressional prayer with 'amen and awoman' MORE (R-Pa.) on Twitter, after the Pennsylvania lawmaker said it was a "disgrace" for him to have questioned Mast's patriotism.

Tapper replied that he would question of patriotism of anyone who lied about the election results or voted against fair elections in other states. He noted that Mast had voted to effectively disenfranchise millions of Pennsylvania voters by voting against that state's Electoral College results, despite a lack of evidence of widespread fraud.