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Democratic lawmaker refuses to apologize after falsely accusing Army and Navy cadets of racism

They were cleared of any wrongdoing

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

South Carolina Democratic state Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell was quick to attack Army and Navy cadets last week when accusations surfaced that the young service members were flashing "white power" symbols at a football game attended by President Trump.

In a tweet that has since been deleted, the state legislator wrote, "Three separate candidates making the white power symbol on television. Wonder what the culture is like for the cadet in the front? There's no excuse and he and other minorities there shouldn't have to deal with such a cruel and disrespectful environment."

However, military investigators have cleared the U.S. Military Academy cadets and U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen of any wrongdoing and found they were merely playing a game.

As of the writing of this story, Rep. Powers Norrell has yet to issue an apology for her tweet or acknowledge that she was wrong.

What were the cadets doing?

The cadets were playing a game commonly known as "the circle game" and "involves someone flashing an upside-down OK sign below the waist who punches anyone who looks at it," as the Daily Mail explained.

"We investigated this matter thoroughly," Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams of West Point said in a statement. "Last Saturday we had reason to believe these actions were an innocent game and not linked to extremism, but we must take allegations such as these very seriously."

"However, we are disappointed by the immature behavior of the two Fourth Class Midshipmen, and their actions will be appropriately addressed," Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck said.

Will she apologize?

Several conservative pundits called on Rep. Powers Norrell to apologize to the cadets after accusing them of creating a "cruel and disrespectful environment" toward minorities.

Among them was the Daily Wire's Ryan Saavedra who tweeted on Friday, "Will South Carolina Democrat @MPowersNorrell apologize now for smearing our troops?" with a screenshot of the lawmaker's tweet.

Powers Norrell represents House District 44, which comprises the southern portion of Lancaster County in South Carolina. In 2018, she was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor but was defeated in the general election.

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