Akin Praised, Reviewed Unit of Militia Group He Recently Claimed He Had Nothing to Do With

Todd Akin defended Moore's group and said that the young movement could be an asset to federal law enforcement (Akin said this, by the way, a month after the Oklahoma City bombing).

"There's a lot of potential for good; on the other hand, if you let the thing be infiltrated by a bunch of Skinheads; that would be a problem," he told the Springfield News-Leader, referencing popular perceptions that militia groups were actually fronts for hate groups, like the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.

Akin also told the News-Leader that he met with Moore and "checked out the unit." Guess he forgot about that five years later, when he told Eric Stern of the Post-Dispatch, that he turned down an invitation to speak at a militia conference because he was uncomfortable with the 1st Missouri Volunteer militia.

"I did not want to speak there," Akin told Stern in 2000. "I didn't want to have any part of it."

Akin's campaign spokesman Rick Tyler resolutely denied that the congressman has or ever had any realtionship with the 1st Missouri Volunteers.

"There's no connection here," Tyler, a former spokesman for Newt Gingrich, said on Wednesday afternoon. "Congressman take lots of meetings with lots of different kinds of groups, at least hundreds, sometimes thousands per year."

When asked if Congressman Akin was ever interested in the militia movement, Tyler said his candidate "has explicitly said that he never wanted anything to do with these people."

This development follows a recent string of revelations about Akin's past connections to fringe groups. Last week the Post-Dispatch revealed that Akin had been arrested four times with a far-right pro-life group that believed in blockading abortion clinics. He was also one of Tim Dreste's very few donors when the controversial activist ran for a seat on a St. Louis County board in the 1990s.

Full article from the Springfield News-Leader on the next page.

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