From Daily Mail: The Republican elector from Texas who refuses to cast his vote for Donald Trump at the Electoral College wrongly claimed to be a first responder during the September 11 attacks.
Chris Suprun, a Texas elector, said he was one of the first on scene after a third plane flew into the Pentagon on 9/11. But in fact he was not employed as a firefighter at the Virginia department he often credits until a month after the attacks, according to an investigation by WFAA. The fire department did not even attend the Pentagon on 9/11.
Suprun portrayed himself as a heroic firefighter in a widely-shared editorial this month for The New York Times, in which he declared he would not be voting for Trump, calling him unqualified, unfit and ‘dismissive’ of his own conflicts of interest.
The 42-year-old, from Dallas, is the sole Republican to publicly announce his ballot would not be cast for the president-elect. He also co-signed a letter with nine Democratic electors which has been widely described as ‘bipartisan’ calling for briefings before the college voted from intelligence agencies on claims Russia hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails in an attempt to tip the election in Trump’s favor.
Suprun is just one of 38 electors in the Lone Star state, where Trump won by more than nine points.
The faithless elector detailed his criticism of Trump in the Times, writing: ‘Fifteen years ago, as a firefighter, I was part of the response to the Sept. 11 attacks against our nation. That attack and this year’s election may seem unrelated, but for me the relationship becomes clearer every day.’
Suprun claimed to be a first responder with the Manassas Park, Virginia, fire department and has made at least two appearances at Major League Baseball games where he was introduced as a 9/11 veteran and threw out the first pitch. He also claims to have founded the nonprofit Never Forget, and says he is a licensed paramedic.
But a first responder who knows Suprun told WFAA a different story.
The responder, who spoke under anonymity, said: ‘He claimed to be a first responder with the Manassas Park [Virginia] Fire Department on September 11, 2001 and personally told us stories “I was fighting fire that day at the Pentagon”.
‘No, I was on a medic unit that day at the Pentagon and you make a phone call to Manassas Park and you find out that he wasn’t even employed there until October 2001.’ The City of Manassas Park confirmed that Suprun was hired on October 10, 2001, a month after the September 11 attacks.
The city’s fire chief told WFAA that the department never even responded to the Pentagon or other 9/11 sites.
‘It’s no different than stolen valor for the military; dressing up and saying “Hey, I earned a Purple Heart” when you weren’t even in combat,’ the first responder told WFAA. ‘There’s a big difference between shopping at Old Navy and being a Navy SEAL.’
In his editorial, Suprun credits former President George W Bush for leading the nation through 9/11 in his New York Times op-ed. ‘George W. Bush is an imperfect man, but he led us through the tragic days following the attacks,’ he writes. ‘His leadership showed that America was a great nation.
‘That was also the last time I remember the nation united. I watch Mr. Trump fail to unite America and drive a wedge between us. Mr. Trump goes out of his way to attack the cast of ‘Saturday Night Live’ for bias. He tweets day and night, but waited two days to offer sympathy to the Ohio State community after an attack there. He does not encourage civil discourse, but chooses to stoke fear and create outrage.”
‘This is unacceptable. For me, America is that shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan envisioned. It has problems. It has challenges. These can be met and overcome just as our nation overcame Sept. 11.’
Read the rest of the story here.
Suprun has responded to the above story:
“That story exhibits a reckless disregard for the truth,” Suprun wrote on Reddit of the WFAA piece. Noting that he had never claimed to be a first responder with Manassas Park, Suprun said at the time of the attacks he was a volunteer firefighter for the “Dale City Fire Dept.” and was later hired by Manassas Park. “We’ve corrected the record with the journalist who wrote that story, and if he has any integrity, he’ll reveal his anonymous sources and let everyone have open debate,” he wrote. “I know where I was on that tragic day.” Even if the debate takes place, the allegation that Suprun was less than truthful raises questions about how electors are chosen.“