Kansas Republican Senate candidate Milton Wolf is under fire after a devastating story detailed how the radiologist posted and commented on gruesome X-ray photos of his patients on Facebook.
Wolf, who is challenging incumbent Republican Pat Roberts in Kansas, posted and even joked about the photos — some of which included gunshot fatalities, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal’s Tim Carpenter.
Wolf released an extensive statement acknowledging his “mistakes,” but also pushing back against what he called a “desperate attack” pushed by Roberts.
“Several years ago I made some comments about these images that were insensitive to the seriousness of what the images revealed,” Wolf said in the statement.
“Soon thereafter, I removed those images and comments, again several years ago. For them to be published in a much more public context now, by a political adversary who would rather declare war on doctors than answer serious questions that Kansans have, is truly sad. However, my mistakes are my own and I take full responsibility for them.”
The story contains some examples of the postings and Wolf’s comments. Here’s one:
On Jan. 25, 2010, Wolf uploaded to Facebook a high-resolution rendering of a deceased man shot in the temple. Wolf also posted an X-ray depicting that victim’s fractured skull and a cluster of bullet fragments lodged throughout the brain.
Wolf launched a Facebook chat about the 3D image by explaining it was taken from a postmortem examination. A Facebook friend, Melissa Ring-Pessen, responded that she performed the scan on Jan. 22, 2010, and was admonished for improperly positioning the man’s head.
“Seriously?” she wrote.
“Sheesh Melissa,” Wolf replied, “it’s not like the patient was going to complain.”
The Topeka Capital-Journal’s story was accompanied by a more-than eight-minute-long video interview with Wolf, which at times became adversarial. When the reporter asked if he still posts “images of dead people on the Internet,” Wolf responded that he was “not going to play these kind of gotcha games with you.”
The report quickly set off a back-and-forth between the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which backs incumbents, and some conservative groups that have backed the upstart Wolf in the race.
In a statement, NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring said that the report was evidence that Wolf was a flawed candidate not vetted by those conservative groups thoroughly enough before their endorsements.
“Once again, it is clear that there are a few select groups and organisations like the Senate Conservatives’ Fund that fail to properly research candidates or do the necessary work prior to endorsing them, which maximizes risk and hurts the conservative cause,” Dayspring said. “Time and again, it has been proven that the failure to research and vet candidates results in handing winnable seats to Democrats.”
On Twitter, the Senate Conservatives Fund accused the NRSC of attacking the “character of conservatives,” prompting Dayspring to respond:
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