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MacArthur Accuses Challenger of Embellishing Record in Afghanistan

Democrat Andy Kim frequently cites his role working for Gen. David Petraeus

Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., is calling into question the resume of his Democratic opponent. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., is calling into question the resume of his Democratic opponent. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur’s campaign is accusing Democratic challenger Andy Kim of embellishing his record as a national security adviser.

Kim has frequently referred to his time working as an Army strategic adviser in Afghanistan to then-Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

But MacArthur’s campaign cited a 2011 email obtained through a Freedom of Information Act that shows Kim was described as a “notetaker” during a meeting with the Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Burlington County Times reported.

MacArthur’s campaign also noted that Kim was not mentioned in Petraeus’ biography.

The campaign also said its FOIA request to the U.S. Office of Personnel was returned with a response saying it found dozens of government employees with Kim’s name but none jibed with Kim’s description of his role.

The response did note that the State Department is responsible for foreign service records and that those might not have yet been sent to the personnel office.

“Andy Kim is attempting to fool people into thinking he was a high-ranking military adviser directing foreign wars alongside our top generals, when the evidence seems to indicate that he was little more than a low-level bureaucrat charged with keeping notes,” MacArthur spokesman Chris Russell said.

But Kim’s campaign manager Zack Carroll called the criticisms “pathetic attempts to distract from the fact that MacArthur has spent his time in Congress working to repeal health care and get big giveaways for his rich donors, special interests and himself.”

Carroll also cited that Kim’s endorsements from Vice President Joe Biden, former Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough and former Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

Kim’s campaign also cited Kim receiving a Joint Civilian Service Commendation Medal from Petraeus’ successor at ISAF, then-Gen. John Allen.

“If MacArthur wants to have a debate over who has done more for the security and safety of this country, Andy Kim is happy to engage him,” Carroll said.

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