Leadership at the base said the issue with the event was that Tyler Bowyer from Turning Point Action, which they deemed to be an "alt-right" group, was slated to be there. The popular 501(c)(4) organization's chief operating officer had been listed on the rally's website as a "conservative activist."
"Leaders, please exercise caution if downtown this weekend," the text message read, according to Fox News, urging service members to "be careful" and suggesting that the crowd "could be confrontational to military members."
It went on to inform potential attendees that "participation with groups such as Turning Point Action could jeopardize their continued service in the US military."
"Turning Point has become accustomed to this type of treatment on college campuses, especially in California or New York, but for an unprovoked, unsolicited, unrelated communication this absurd and unhinged to come out of a North Dakota Air Force Base should be treated like a five alarm fire in the US military," TPAction spokesman Andrew Kolvet said in a statement to the Post Millennial. "Congress should investigate and find out what the hell is going on here."
In a statement to Fox News, the group defended itself and its leadership against claims they were "alt-right," saying TPAction is "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 spokesman also pushed back against the idea that the event would have been unsafe for service members, noting that attendees were "some of the US Military's most ardent supporters."
Most infuriating to TPAction, however, was the base's warning that associating with the group could be a punishable offense.
"How dare they dissuade servicemen and women from affiliating with conservative groups and leaders," the spokesman said. "This should set off alarm bells throughout North Dakota and DC, that something is terribly wrong at the Minot Air Force base. This also warrants an immediate congressional hearing and investigation, and whoever is responsible 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."
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