Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Barnette has been accused of making a false statement about her support of former President Donald Trump during the 2016 primary elections.
“The one that really pops out in my mind is 2016 for the primary for President Trump, as well as for the general election for President Trump,” she stated on a recent show.
Although Barnette may have been telling the truth regarding her primary vote, Barnette's comments are certainly not in line with what she wrote in her memoir, according to Republican strategy expert Matt Wolking, who works with Pennsylvania Senate candidate David McCormick. He pointed out the discrepancy on Thursday.
“Praise God for second chances,” she wrote in her book. “Though I didn't support Trump during the primaries, when the general election came around, I was on the front on Trump's train.”
It is unclear if Barnette intended to deliberately mislead during the interview, or whether she simply misspoke, but claiming to have supported Trump during the 2016 presidential primary as a MAGA badge of honor seems like a strange mountain to fall down, considering some of Trump's most passionate supporters initially sided with his candidacy (some very strongly) during the primary. Others, such as Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance, were outrightly against his campaign but received the president's approval after he changed his mind. In addition to this section of her book, Barnette's previous tweets reveal that she was firmly against Trump’s presidential run during the primary campaign, in which she frequently criticized his morality and manner of conduct. Whatever her previous views regarding Trump, Barnette has been active in her support for Trump throughout the election.
Barnette's controversial remarks come as questions have been asked about her military service. They also come after Trump stated that she would have a difficult time winning as the GOP candidate in the general election when compared to Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman.
“Kathy Barnette will never be able to win the General Election against the Radical Left Democrats,” Trump declared in a statement, noting that she had “many things in her past which have not been properly explained or vetted, but if she is able to do so, she will have a wonderful future in the Republican Party–and I will be behind her all the way.”