Rep. Jason Lewis scrutinized for comments about women he made while a radio host

He's the focus of a story by CNN's KFile.
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Minnesota Rep. Jason Lewis' past as a radio host is under the microscope again after he was the focus of a story by CNN's investigative unit KFile.

KFile, lead by reporter Andrew Kaczynski, reviewed several months of audio recorded between between 2009 and 2014, when the Minnesota politician hosted the syndicated radio program "The Jason Lewis Show" on KSTP-AM.

The piece expands upon similar work undertaken by former GOP deputy chair Michael Brodkorb in a Star Tribune column in 2016, highlighting some of the remarks Lewis had made prior to becoming a congressman.

Brodkorb provided 15 months of raw audio to KFile for further examination, and it is now being shared with a larger audience via CNN, whose piece says Lewis can be heard "repeatedly demeaning women, and particularly women voters."

One instance hears Lewis focus on the uproar following conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh calling a women's rights activist and student "a slut," with Lewis seemingly lamenting that he couldn't use the term.

"Does a woman now have the right to behave – and I know there's a double standard between the way men chase women and running and running around – you know, I'm not going to get there, but you know what I'm talking about. But it used to be that women were held to a little bit of a higher standard. We required modesty from women. Now, are we beyond those days where a woman can behave as a slut, but you can't call her a slut?"

KFile says found several more instances in which Lewis "described women voters as guided by emotion instead of reason," as well as saying they voted "solely on the issue of free birth control."

And the "young single women" who voted in this way, he said, were "without a brain." 

"You have no, you have no cognitive function whatsoever. If that's all it takes to buy you off."

The can read the full piece from KFile, which includes audio clips, here.

In a statement to media, as reported by the Star Tribune, Lewis' campaign manager Becky Alery said: "This has all been litigated before, and as Rep. Lewis has said time and time again, it was his job to be provocative while on the radio."

But Kaczynski disagreed that this information has been out there before, saying none of the quotes reported in his story had been reported in Brodkorb's previous piece.

Lewis is facing a challenge to hold on to his seat this November from the Democrat he beat in 2016, Angie Craig, in what political experts consider to be a "toss-up" race.

Since the story went live on Thursday, his social media feeds have been inundated with comments asking him to explain his previous comments.

The piece has also attracted national attention, with comedian and Democrat Sarah Silverman among those trying to whip up support for Craig.

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