Al Ringgenberg, an Iowa Republican politician and retired Air Force colonel, addressed Saturday’s Iowa National Security Action Summit alongside GOP figures such as Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, who sent a video message to the event.
When an audience member asked Ringgenberg about the right-wing Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theory, wanting his thoughts on whether the U.S. military is using closed Walmart stores as part of a nefarious federal government plot in the South, Riggenberg did not dismiss her fears about the training exercises.
Ringgenberg said that the Jade Helm 15 training exercises “raises — I’ve got a couple of hairs left here in the back of my neck — and they stand up a little bit because as a lawyer I know, no, U.S. military forces are not supposed to be operating inside of the United States.”
“Like you, I want to know what the hell is going on,” he said.
The drill in question is a routine training exercise but has raised fears among the far-right that President Obama is planning an invasion of Texas and priming people for martial law.