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Defense policy cited in axing Bernie Sanders’ armory event

February 13, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia National Guard says a scheduled appearance by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at a southern West Virginia armory was canceled due to U.S. Defense Department policy.

The Guard says in a news release that Defense Department policy prohibits the use of military facilities for political and election events, including town hall meetings. The West Virginia State Armory Board has a similar policy.

The statement says Monday’s event at the Welch armory was pulled after details were shared with the state adjutant general’s office on Friday. MSNBC planned to host the event.

An MSNBC spokeswoman had told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (http://bit.ly/2lEnmu9 ) that the event would be rescheduled at another venue in McDowell County.

“The reason I want to do a town meeting in McDowell County is pretty simple,” Sanders said in a statement. “I want to focus attention on poverty in America, something which is almost never talked about now.”

Sanders, who lost to Hillary Clinton in last year’s Democratic presidential primary, also was scheduled to be in Charleston on Sunday as part of a book tour.

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