The military leadership at the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota recently sent a text message to service members warning them that their “continued service” could be jeopardized if they attended a local rally featuring a speaker from an organization that has historically supported former President Donald Trump.
The text message, acquired by Fox News, was sent to Minot Air Force Base staff and warned, “Leaders, please exercise caution if downtown this weekend.”
The text message warned any base workers who planned to venture into town for the event last Friday to “be careful” and “reach out for any concerns.”
The “Dakota Patriot Rally,” which took place at the state fairgrounds in Minot, was acknowledged by Air Force leadership. Some of those attending the event, according to leadership, “could be confrontational to military members.” The text message also informed military personnel that the featured guest speaker would be from Turning Point Action, which the organization’s leadership described as a “alt-right organization.”
The Air Force base’s commander cautioned service personnel in a text message that “participation with groups such as Turning Point Action could jeopardize their continued service in the United States military.”
Turning Point Action Chief Operating Officer Tyler Bower, a “conservative activist” who joined Turning Point USA after serving in several political capacities, was the rally’s keynote speaker, according to the Dakota Patriot Rally’s website.
An anonymous Turning Point Action spokesperson told Fox News that the recent “Dakota Patriot Rally” event was not officially recognized by the organization; however, the spokesperson called the threatening message sent by Air Force leaders “absolutely appalling.”
“Tyler Bowyer was nothing more than a keynote speaker. Secondly, Turning Point Action is not alt-right, it’s a mainstream conservative organization, and Tyler Bowyer is not some fringe personality—he’s the COO of TPAction, an RNC committeeman from the state of Arizona, and one of the most accomplished political organizers in the country,” the spokesperson stated. “Lastly, Mr. Bowyer and attendees of this event are not ‘confrontational to military members,’ they’re some of the US Military’s most ardent supporters.”
The Turning Point Action spokeswoman further stressed the “shocking and totally unacceptable” notion that involvement in Turning Point Action may harm military personnel’s employment.
“How dare they dissuade servicemen and women from affiliating with conservative groups and leaders,” the representative went on to say. “This should set off alarm bells throughout North Dakota and DC, that something is terribly wrong at the Minot Air Force base.”
According to a spokeswoman for Turning Point Action, the Air Force text message should result in an “immediate” hearing and inquiry by Congress, and whomever sent the controversial text message “should be held accountable.”
“It’s exactly this type of poison that has caused the Air Force to miss its recruiting goal for the first time in decades,” the official said.