Andy Kim, the Democratic candidate in New Jersey's Third Congressional District, changed the biography section on his campaign website to soften descriptions of his time at the White House and Pentagon, which his Republican opponent claimed on Thursday is proof he inflated his résumé.
Archives of Kim's campaign website reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon show he originally referred to himself in a prominent role. He described himself in a leadership role within the White House and the Pentagon.
"From the White House I helped our nation lead a global war against ISIS, from our U.S. military headquarters in Afghanistan I served as a strategic adviser to Generals David Petraeus and John Allen, and from the Pentagon I helped our nation build a strong military and provide for our brave service men and women," the biography on his website said.
However, the language in the biography currently on Kim's campaign website softens his role. Instead of portraying himself in a leadership role, Kim said he worked at the White House and advised top officials at the Pentagon.
"I worked at the White House on countering terrorism and protecting our country, advised the Secretary of Defense and the Pentagon on national security, and I served in Afghanistan as a strategic adviser to Generals David Petraeus and John Allen," the current biography reads. "When I served in Afghanistan, no one asked me if I was a Democrat or a Republican. We all worked together focused on the mission of keeping our nation safe."
Rep. Tom MacArthur, Kim's Republican opponent, said the change in language is proof that Kim inflated his résumé. Last week, MacArthur's campaign revealed documents which they said call into question Kim's claim of being a high-placed strategist at the Pentagon and White House. Instead, MacArthur's campaign said Kim was classified as a "notetaker" and junior aide who is exaggerating his résumé to get elected.
"Who is the real Andy Kim?" MacArthur strategist Chris Russell said in a statement about the website edits. "Was he a high-level military strategist who needs to take responsibility for the Obama Administration's failed war against ISIS that allowed the genocide of thousands in the Middle East? Or was he a ‘Notetaker' and ‘relatively junior national security aide' now running for Congress with a puffed up resume?"
The Kim campaign did not respond to a request for comment, but they have publicly disputed MacArthur's claim that Kim exaggerated his résumé.
"Tom MacArthur's desperate and false attack is a pathetic attempt 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," Zach Carroll, Kim's campaign manager, told the New Jersey Globe. "While Andy Kim served his country, Tom MacArthur let our military and veterans down by leaving the House Armed Services Committee to get closer to Wall Street."
Russell said Kim "has a problem with the truth" and the National Republican Congressional Committee said voters shouldn't trust him.
"Notetaker Andy Kim was caught red-handed," Chris Martin, a spokesperson for the group, said. "Now voters should question everything that comes out of his mouth."
The Cook Political Report currently rates the race between MacArthur and Kim as "lean Republican," which indicates the race is very competitive, but MacArthur holds an advantage.
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