JR Majewski, a candidate for the Ohio Republican Congress, says that if he is elected, he will give priority to making the crime “smearing” to veterans as he questioned the report that he was never sent to Afghanistan while serving in the Air Force.

During Friday’s Ohio press conference, Majewski condemned an Associated Press (AP) article that denied his claims of enduring harsh conditions during deployment in a war-torn country. Majewski made his combat veteran identity a central part of his campaign to remove a longtime Democrat representative from the mandate. Calling the AP report a “false hit”, he said he would work to make false reports illegal.

Citing military documents obtained on the basis of a public request, the PA said on Thursday that Majewski had never been sent to Afghanistan.

U.S. Air Force members deployed as part of Mission Resolute Support prepare an F-16 fighter for flight at Bagram Airport on September 5, 2017 in Bagram, Afghanistan. JR Majewski, a candidate for the GOP Congress, says he was sent to Afghanistan while serving in the Air Force.
Andrew Renneisen / Getty Images

According to AP, the records showed that Majewski spent most of his active duty at the Kadena airbase in Japan. The closest he found to Afghanistan was a six-month deployment to Qatar in May 2002, loading and unloading planes as a “passenger operations specialist,” AP said.

“The military files that I was able to obtain from my personal files show that all my deployments are classified as secret,” Majewski said on Friday.

He accused the AP of “lying” about his story and said the report was “putting my life in danger, that of my family and that of my team.” He suggested that the timing of his publication was calculated to hurt him politically.

Majewski said that while the AP was able to obtain the files, veterans had to “wait months to find out the facts.” If elected, he said he would give priority to streamlining the data collection process for veterans and “make laws that will make it a crime to slander veterans and end this nonsense once and for all.”

“If you do not know all the facts, you should not have the right to harm those who served our country and their loved ones,” said Majewski, who did not provide details of what the legislation would cover. He also said he was considering suing AP.

Majewski quoted an email from the Air Force used in an AP report which stated that the unit was not “visible” about what it was doing after deploying to Qatar.

Lauren Easton, AP’s vice president of communications, said Newsweek in the e-mail that the Associated Press sticks to its history.

During a press conference, when asked about his whereabouts in Afghanistan, Majewski said that “there are only a few bases in the country” and it was “almost impossible” to say where he was on what day.

The PA reported that Majewski did not hold medals commonly awarded to members of the service who served in Afghanistan. Rose M. Riley, spokeswoman for the Air Force, on Thursday He said New York Times that the detachment could not verify that Majewski was serving in the country. She also said the list of combat medals “may be incomplete or out of date as some require action by the member for submission or approval.”

Majewski first made headlines during the 2020 election when he used 120 gallons of biodegradable chalk paint to create a giant banner to support Donald Trump’s re-election.

Political novice Majewski defeated two state lawmakers in the Republican primaries in Ohio’s 9th Congress District, which includes the northern part of the state bordering Lake Erie and including Cleveland.

Majewski, backed by Trump, will face Democrat representative Marcy Kaptur, who hopes to keep the seat she was first elected to in 1982 after being moved to make her more competitive.

Newsweek contacted the Air Force for comment.

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