Trump endorses man who was at the Capitol Jan. 6 and who bragged about exposing genitals to women
Donald Trump on Thursday issued an endorsement in a U.S. House race to Derrick Van Orden for Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district. Van Orden was at the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and bragged about exposing another man's genitals, a hospital patient, to two unsuspecting women.
Van Orden, a Republican who previously ran for Congress but lost in the primaries "went to Washington on Jan. 6 ― a trip paid for with leftover campaign funds ― to rally with other pro-Trump supporters who were trying to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's victory," HuffPost reports. "Van Orden claimed that he never set foot on Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, but as The Daily Beast reported, a photo from that day shows otherwise."
On his campaign website Van Orden describes himself as "an American patriot, retired Navy SEAL, husband, father, grandfather, and Christian."
In an op-ed for the La Crosse Tribune he claims he "traveled to Washington, DC for meetings and to stand for the integrity of our electoral system as a citizen and at the behest of my neighbors here in Western Wisconsin."
Never before in American history has there been any call to travel to Washington, D.C. to stand for the integrity of our electoral system, nor was there any significant fraud that would make such a trip necessary.
He notes he was not at the Capitol alone.
"Two of my friends, both combat veterans, and I stood on the parapet that lines the perimeter of the grounds and watched what should have been an expression of free speech devolve into one of the most tragic incidents in the history of our nation."
"When it became clear that a protest had become a mob, I left the area as to remain there could be construed as tacitly approving this unlawful conduct."
The Daily Beast reports it "confirmed that Van Orden would have had to cross police barricades to reach that area."
"As for Van Orden's campaign expenses surrounding Jan. 6, it's unclear how they relate to Van Orden's attendance," The Daily Beast adds. "Federal Election Commission regulations state that travel expenses must be “directly related to the campaign." Van Orden—who wrote off roughly $4,000 in transportation and D.C. hotel costs around Jan. 6 for him, his wife, and a campaign staffer—lost his race in November and didn't declare his 2022 candidacy until April."
A former Navy SEAL, Van Orden blames "ineffectual" then-President Barack Obama for the deaths of two SEALs in Benghazi.
"In 2015," HuffPost reports, "Van Orden published 'Book of Man: A Navy Seal's Guide to the Lost Art of Manhood,' about the lessons he learned from being a Navy SEAL. In the book, as the La Crosse Tribune reported in 2020, Van Orden describes an incident in which he surprised two unsuspecting women by showing them a lieutenant's swollen genitals (his 'ball sack huge as a cantaloupe')."
He told the paper that he was “instructing two junior Medical Corps officers in recognition and treatment" ― even though he never identified the two “cute girls" as medical officers in the book.
On the issues, the first one he mentions is masks for school children during the coronavirus pandemic. They should be "optional," he says, attacking "dismissive school boards."
He opposes the LGBTQ Equality Act,
Van Orden also claims the second impeachment of Donald Trump "for purely political reasons" "called [him] back into public service, this time as a candidate for Congress in the 3rd District of his beloved State of Wisconsin."
This is the pinned post on Van Orden's Facebook page:
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