ICYMI: Zinke Claims Credit for Mission He Had No Part in Completing, Yet Refuses to Take Credit for Failure to Attend Public Debates

(Helena, MT) – As former SOFA PAC chairman Ryan Zinke continues to duck debates in Billings, Helena, and Great Falls, Montanans want to know why Zinke is sending campaign fundraising emails claiming to have had a role in the death of Osama bin Laden.

According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, “A recent fundraising email from Montana's Republican U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke suggests he took part in killing Osama bin Laden.”

Zinke took credit for the work of Navy SEALs to help fill his bankrupt campaign coffers more than three years after he retired. While he is eager to take credit for the work of others, he has yet to take credit for his decision to duck a debate in Billings. Zinke had agreed to a September 29th debate in Billings but then later ducked out of the debate without explanation.

The Missoulian editorial board held Zinke accountable for his misleading campaign fundraising tactics. “As Zinke’s email soliciting campaign contributions states, ‘Leadership takes guts, internal fortitude, and honor.’ To this we would add that it also takes honesty. Or at least, it does if you’re a congressional candidate actively seeking to earn Montanans’ trust – and votes,” the Missoulian editorial stated.

“Zinke appears to be keeping his military records from public view so he can continue to raise money by touting missions he had no part in completing. Zinke is already demonstrating he is willing to mislead campaign donors through deceptive emails – it is troubling to think of the lengths he would go to mislead Montanans in general,” stated Bryan Watt, spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle also pointed out top leadership in the Navy has discouraged the type of behavior Zinke is currently employing to enrich his campaign coffers: "Navy SEALS have been told by top leadership to stop using their experience for personal gain.” “We do not advertise the nature of our work, nor do we seek recognition for our actions,” Rear Adm. Sean Pybus wrote.

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