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Democratic candidate: GOP lieutenant governor claim he knelt during anthem ‘a lie’

September 17, 2018

LT. GOV. REBECCA KLEEFISCH

The Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes, says Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is lying by claiming others told her they saw Barnes kneel during the national anthem at this year’s opener of the Wisconsin State Fair.

Kleefisch made the comments at a Monday press conference in Milwaukee, the Associated Press reported.

Kleefisch, the running mate of Gov. Scott Walker, could not immediately be reached by the State Journal Monday to address the source of the claim.

Barnes, a former state lawmaker and running mate of Democratic governor candidate Tony Evers, told the State Journal the comments are “a lie” and “false.”

He told the AP that had he taken a knee during the national anthem at the fair, “the whole damn program would have stopped.”

“It’s too stupid to respond to,” Barnes said of the claim.

The practice of some NFL players kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games to protest discrimination and social injustice has sparked controversy and attacks from Trump.

Walker has joined Trump in saying players should stand for the anthem and emphasizing he always does so.

Kleefisch previously suggested Barnes supports kneeling for the anthem without spelling out the claim she made at Monday’s press conference.

Barnes said Kleefisch and Gov. Scott Walker are taking a page out of Trump’s playbook, who he said has repeatedly race-baited and told lies to create diversions from damaging news.

“The only thing they can do is distract right now,” Barnes said.

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