Ohio GOP candidate J.R. Majewski has come up with a new defense about his combat records.
At a Friday rally, Majewski said records related to a deployment to Afghanistan were "classified."
All available military records showed that Majewski never served in Afghanistan, according to the AP.
Ohio GOP House candidate J.R. Majewski backtracked on the claim that he was deployed to Afghanistan, saying that his lips - and records - are sealed on the matter.
At a Friday rally, Majewski responded to an Associated Press report which showed that Majewski had lied about his service in Afghanistan, per military records obtained by the outlet. Majewski claimed that some top-secret documents that only he has access to tell a different story.
"The orders and military records that I have been able to obtain from my personal files shows that all of my deployments are listed as classified," Majewski told his supporters.
He claimed that the reporting on the matter was part of a plan to bring him down, adding that the Air Force said it could not verify whether he did or didn't go to Afghanistan.
Had Majewski seen and participated in combat anywhere, including Afghanistan, he would almost certainly be a recipient of the Combat Action Ribbon, which he did not possess, per the AP. Secret medals are fairly rare, even among the most elite units like Navy SEALs, and the awardee still can wear the medal - it's only the citation on their record that would be redacted from release, not the award itself.
Similarly, significant service in Afghanistan would have resulted in earning the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, whose criteria include aircrews who fly into, within, or out of that country for at least 30 days. It's notable that there's also no record of Majewski receiving the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, which is given to troops, including aircrews, who have deployed abroad in support of the Iraq or Afghanistan wars and served at least 30 days in that deployment.
This award is common among veterans who served in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and public data shows that Majewski worked as an airman who supported passenger loading and unloading out of Qatar in support of various wars.
In August, Insider first reported that Majewski had violated a federal law by disclosing his personal finances late in his race. Majewski's campaign did not immediately respond to Insider's inquiry.
In recent weeks, Donald Trump - who has endorsed Majewski - has largely been flippant in discussing how things are classified or declassified. In an interview with Shaun Hannity on Wednesday, Trump suggested he could declassify documents just by thinking about it.