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Ernst Clarifies Comments over Weapons in Iraq

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst is clarifying comments she made that critics say implied that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction at the time of the U.S. invasion of the country.
   Ernst said in a statement Monday that she did not mean to suggest Iraq had such weapons at the time of the 2003 invasion. She said she was trying to explain that Iraq had such weapons in the past.
   Ernst made the initial comments during a meeting with the Register's editorial board on Friday. Iowa Democratic Party officials later questioned her remarks.
   Ernst is one of five candidates vying for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Harkin, a long-serving Democrat. The primary is June 3.

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