Doug Mastriano Deemed a 'Traitor' After He's Shown in a Confederate Uniform

Doug Mastriano, the Trump-backed candidate for Pennsylvania governor, is being branded by his opponents as unfit for office after a photo emerged of him wearing a Confederate uniform.

Mastriano was shown wearing the gray uniform of a Confederate soldier in an Army War College faculty photo published on Friday by Reuters. The public exhibition of relics from the Confederacy have been fiercely condemned as symbols of white supremacy and treason. Foes of Mastriano, who is running to lead a key swing state, say the photo should keep him from the governor's office while his allies say the backlash is overblown.

Mastriano is pictured in the uniform for a 2013-14 portrait taken for the college's Department of Military Strategy, Plans, and Operations, according to Reuters, which obtained the image through a public records request. The department's faculty were allowed to dress as historical figures, with Mastriano being the only one to opt for the uniform of a Confederate soldier, according to the news outlet.

Gubernatorial Candidate Doug Mastriano Speaks to Supporters
Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano speaks to supporters at the Unite and Win Rally at the Wyndham Hotel on August 19, 2022, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The candidate faced criticism on Friday after a photo of him wearing a Confederate uniform was published. Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

The Army War College, located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, told Reuters that it has removed the display of the portrait, saying "it does not meet AWC values."

"Doug Mastriano wore the uniform of traitors who fought to defend slavery on official grounds of the U.S. Army War College," Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for governor, said in a tweet, noting that the college removed the portrait.

Shapiro added, "It's deeply offensive and proves who he is, once again. He's unfit to be Governor."

Pennsylvania state Representative Mike Zabel said in a tweet that Mastriano was unfit for office, questioning why he would choose to wear a uniform associated with slavery, sedition and the losing side of the Civil War.

Some users noted the irony in Mastriano representing Gettysburg, the site of a key Civil War battle.

Others downplayed the photo, pointing out that he is a historian who has served as a guide at Gettysburg.

"Media MELT DOWN that Mastriano apparently once posed as a civil war historical figure for a photo," Jenna Ellis, a lawyer who represented Trump, said in a tweet. "And? He has a Ph.D in HISTORY. The left wants to erase history. @dougmastriano wants us to learn from it."

Twitter user Governor Dill said in a tweet that Mastriano wears Civil War attire for his job and called the Reuters report "a disgusting attempt at a hit-piece."

Mastriano, a former colonel in the U.S. Army and current state senator, has previously stirred controversy for trafficking in conspiracy theories and backing former President Donald Trump's exhaustively debunked claim the 2020 presidential election was rigged.

Mastriano was also present at the January 6 Capitol riot. While he has not faced charges, a House committee investigating the incident has subpoenaed Mastriano, who is accused of arranging for an "alternate" slate of pro-Trump electors from Pennsylvania.

"It appears @dougmastriano wore the uniform of traitors at Army War College," Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger, a Republican critic of Trump, said in a tweet. "He also defends the current traitors who tried a coup after they lost an election. Traitors."

Newsweek reached out to Mastriano's campaign for comment.