Late Friday evening, after an article was published that included photos claimed by the author to be of Arizona Democrat Senate nominee Mark Kelly dressed as Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, Kelly’s campaign released a statement denying that the photos were of him.
The alleged photos of Kelly were obtained by National File journalist Patrick Howley, the same journalist that has broken three major national news stories — the Ralph Northam KKK/blackface story, the rape allegations against Virginia Democrat Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax, and the recent story in North Carolina of Democrat Senate nominee Cal Cunningham cheating on his wife.
“National File has obtained a series of photos from the yearbook of Mark Kelly, the Democrat Senate candidate in Arizona, which show him dressed as Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler for a Halloween party while attending the Merchant Marine Academy,” National File reported. “Kelly was a member of First Rotation Leadership with Colin Ching, who was credited with planning the Halloween party.”
Photos obtained by National File show a man that the website claims is Kelly, who appears to be wearing a Nazi armband with a swastika on it, which was the Nazi Party’s symbol. The photo also shows the man with a Hitler mustache.
EXCLUSIVE: I have obtained yearbook photos showing Democrat Arizona Senate candidate Mark Kelly dressed as Adolf Hitler during his time at the Merchant Marine Academyhttps://t.co/YRd4n77kJX
— Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) October 23, 2020
The Arizona Republic, which is part of the USA Today network, reported that three of Kelly’s classmates have stated that the photo is not of Kelly.
The denial by Kelly comes less than two weeks before the 2020 U.S. elections, and some recent polling has shown that Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) has not only closed Kelly’s lead in the state, but has taken a small lead in the race.
“These aren’t pictures of Mark, and he never dressed up in such a costume,” Kelly’s campaign manager Jen Cox said in a statement. “The story is false and should be retracted immediately, and those who have spread this misinformation online should delete it. Anyone using it to try to smear a combat veteran should be ashamed of themselves.”
The Arizona Republic highlighted three statements from people claiming that the photos were not of Kelly:
- Mark Baden, Kelly’s roommate at the Merchant Marine Academy: “I was the First Rotation Regimental Commander. These photos are absolutely not Mark Kelly, and anyone saying that is lying.”
- Jennifer Boykin, a classmate of Kelly’s: “I attended the Merchant Marine Academy with Mark. I attended this event. This is not Mark in any of these photos.”
- Ed McDonald, a classmate of Kelly’s: “I attended the Merchant Marine Academy with Mark. I attended this event as well and am in this photo. This is a group from 2nd Company. Mark was not in 2nd Company, and that is not him in these photos.”
None of the statements offer a name for the person wearing the alleged Nazi costume.
Howley, who broke the story, responded to the denials by saying in a statement: “As the reporter who broke the Ralph Northam blackface yearbook photo, Justin Fairfax’s multiple credible rape allegations, and two of Cal Cunningham’s extramarital affairs, I am frankly shocked that Mark Kelly would dare to deny this and at the mainstream media’s inability or unwillingness to do their job and report the truth about the candidates seeking high office in the United States.”
Reporters are asking me about the well known fact that Mark Kelly dressed as Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Here is my statement: pic.twitter.com/UYJ9KFr3UL
— Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) October 24, 2020
The story began to gain significant traction online after Donald Trump Jr. and former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell offered comment on the story for their nearly combined 6.5 million followers on Twitter.
“Trump is literally Hitler”
Nope, but apparently Mark Kelly is! https://t.co/zuP24UxWI2
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 23, 2020
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) October 24, 2020
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