CNN’s Tapper calls out Jon Ossoff for smear about Kelly Loeffler: ‘That wasn’t true’

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CNN host Jake Tapper on Sunday called out Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff for repeatedly accusing Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of campaigning with a Klansman during the Georgia Senate runoff election, describing the claim as false.

“You said that, quote, Kelly Loeffler has been campaigning with a Klansman, unquote. That’s not true,” Mr. Tapper said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It is true that a former member of the Klan took a photo with Senator Loeffler at a campaign event. Her campaign says she didn’t know who he was at the time and she’s condemned him.”

Mr. Tapper added: “I’m sure you’ve taken photos with thousands of strangers. Isn’t it important for candidates to tell the truth?”

Instead of addressing the issue, Mr. Ossoff replied: “It is, and it’s even more distressing that this isn’t an isolated incident.” He then accused Ms. Loeffler of “campaigning beside radical white supremacists.”

CNN posted a fact-check Thursday that concluded that Mr. Ossoff’s claim was “false.”

“All right, just to be clear, she wasn’t campaigning with a Klansman, that wasn’t true what you said,” Mr. Tapper said.

Earlier this month, Chester Doles, described as a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, took a photo with Ms. Loeffler while she was on the campaign trail in Dawsonville, Georgia.

Loeffler campaign spokesman Stephen Lawson later said that the senator “had no idea who that was, and if she had she would have kicked him out immediately because we condemn in the most vociferous terms everything that he stands for.”

Tuesday’s runoff elections pit Ms. Loeffler against Democrat Raphael Warnock and Mr. Ossoff against Republican Sen. David Perdue in races that will determine control of the Senate.

 

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