A U.S. Military Academy graduate who posed with a sign reading “Communism will win” and posted pro-Colin Kaepernick messages on social media is now being ripped by the former Democratic congressman who helped him get into the prestigious school.
Ex-Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, who served from 2007 to 2013, told The Daily Caller that Second Lt. Spenser Rapone – who is now the focus of an Army investigation – has let him down.
“Several years ago, I met Spenser Rapone when he was a high school student seeking an appointment to West Point,” Altmire said. “At the time, he was an outstanding, well-rounded student who came from a good family. I have not been in touch with him in the years since the appointment, and I was shocked and extremely disappointed in the recent reports of his indefensible actions.”
To get into West Point, applicants must receive nominations, usually from U.S. politicians.
“While I strongly support the rights of American citizens to express their opinions, the actions of 2nd Lieutenant Rapone are abhorrent and appear to be in clear violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, in addition to being inconsistent with the values of the United States Military Academy. I have no doubt that the U.S. Army will take appropriate action,” Altmire told The Daily Caller.
The Army said in a statement Tuesday that “Rapone's chain of command is aware of his actions and is looking into the matter.” The photos began circulating online over the weekend.
Rapone’s father Richard, a treasurer in Lawrence County, Pa., also spoke out against his son in a now-removed Facebook post, according to The Daily Caller.
Richard reportedly said Spenser, who graduated in 2016, was not accepted into West Point right out of high school, but was approved after enlisting in the Army and serving in Afghanistan.
“It’s my belief when he returned back from Afghanistan there was a notable difference in his political views,” the news organization quoted Rapone as posting. “Spenser is my son and I love him dearly, however, I do not like nor condone his politics, his actions or behavior.”
Rapone’s communist sympathies are no secret, the New York Post reported. He once posted photos of himself holding Karl Marx's “Communist Manifesto” and a photo of One World Trade Center with him holding a communist red star on the top.
The "Communism will win photo" was hashtagged #veteransforkaepernick, citing the former NFL player whose national anthem protests have sparked a divisive movement this season.
But a veterans’ subgroup of the Democratic Socialists of America has come to his defense.
“Let there be no doubt that we have unequivocal solidarity with and pride in Spenser. He’s an exceptional soldier,” it posted on Twitter.