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Montana Veterans Condemn Zinke For Supporting Donald Trump

From left to right: Sgt. Josh Manning, who served in Iraq with Capt. Humayun Khan; Diane Carlson-Evans, a combat nurse in Vietnam; Retired Lt. Col. Jim Gillison; John Hollow, a Navy SEAL during Vietnam
Corin Cates-Carney
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From left to right: Sgt. Josh Manning, who served in Iraq with Capt. Humayun Khan; Diane Carlson-Evans, a combat nurse in Vietnam; Retired Lt. Col. Jim Gillison; John Hollow, a Navy SEAL during Vietnam

Four military veterans, organized by the Democratic party stood in front of the state capitol today condemning U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke’s support of Donald Trump.

Iraq war veteran Josh Manning stood behind a wooden podium on the capitol steps Thursday as he called on Montana’s lone U.S. Representative  to denounce the Republican Party’s candidate for president.

Manning says Trump’s recent comments toward the family of a slain U.S. Muslim soldier are degrading to veterans.

"Congressman Ryan Zinke doesn’t stand with veterans, he doesn’t stand with Montanans. He stands along for his own career and profit. It is beyond time for him to show some leadership or get out of the way for someone who can."

Manning says his comments were not an endorsement of Zinke’s opponent in this year’s U.S. House race Democrat Denise Juneau.

Earlier this month, Manning wrote a post for the liberal political blog Montana Cowgirl. The nearly four page essay shared Manning’s story of serving with Captain Humayun Khan.

Khan was killed in 2004 by a suicide car bomb. His father spoke at the Democratic National Convention in July and criticized Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims entry to the United States, saying Trump had not sacrificed anything for the country.

Trump told ABC in an interview shortly after the convention that he has made a lot of sacrifices and worked very hard and created tens of thousands of jobs.

In an emailed statement Zinke said, "Trump and I do not agree on 100 percent of the issues, but I can say without a doubt, he and the team he assembles will do more to keep our troops safe and alive than Hillary Clinton did during her time as Secretary of State."

In a statement released earlier this month Zinke called on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to apologize for offensive comments to military families. Nowhere in that statement or in the emailed statement provided Thursday was Captain Humayun Khan mentioned.

Josh Manning, who ran and failed in the primary to become a Democratic state senator for Helena, says his comments do not represent the feelings of all veterans.

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