This morning, while being interviewed by Professor David Parker, Ryan Zinke gave the most rambling, incoherent evasion of all time when asked to explain why he hadn’t released his full military records. I recommend you start watching the video at about the 1:05 mark.
Asked if he would be “willing to release all” of his military records, Zinke responded by saying:
You know, I sat down with Chuck Johnson of the AP (sic)and I brought my entire military record. As long as people are legitimate, you know, uh, journalists, I have no problem. My record speaks for itself.
That’s problematic, of course, because that’s not what happened—and not what Zinke’s campaign told Chuck Johnson, the legitimate journalist in question. From the Missoulian story four days ago:
However, Zinke didn’t provide the Missoulian State Bureau with any other fitness reports. When asked why, his campaign spokeswoman, Shelby DeMars, said, “I would imagine Ryan has more, but the only ones he has in his possession are the ones that he gave you.” She said Zinke has or has seen only the “competitive” fitness reports when he was vying against his peers for promotions.
As the Cowgirl blog has pointed out, Zinke didn’t even release full information from his DD-214 form, which includes the reason for separation from the military and is typically given as information for future employers.
There are really only a few explanations: either Ryan Zinke lied to David Parker or Chuck Johnson and Shelby DeMars are involved in some conspiracy to make Senator Zinke look bad. Given Zinke’s penchant for calling people liars when his veracity is challenged and Chuck Johnson’s reputation, I’m willing to bet that he didn’t actually bring his entire military record, which he can access quite easily.
All of this generates a few obvious questions:
- When will Ryan Zinke release his entire military record?
- Will the “legitimate journalists” in Montana ask for it—and then write stories about his refusal to produce the records?
- When can we expect stern editorials about Mr. Zinke’s continued, multi-faceted dishonesty?