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John Hyten testifies before House Armed Services Committee in 2017. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Army Col. Kathryn Spletstoser on Friday publicly accused Commander of U.S. Strategic Command and Air Force Gen. John Hyten of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room in 2017, the NYT reports.

The big picture: The Pentagon reports that the, "Estimated prevalence of sexual assault for active duty women increased" in 2018. It estimates that 20,500 service members — men and women — experienced sexual assault in 2018, up from approximately 14,900 in 2016. Hyten, Trump's nominee to be the next Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman, would oversee 1.2 million active-duty troops if confirmed.

What's happening: Hyten has denied the allegations. A Defense Department official told the Times that the Air Force's investigation into Spletstoser's allegations did not find any supporting evidence, "except for the fact that the two were together at each time that she alleges abusive sexual contact took place."

  • Spletstoser and Hyten privately testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee this week, as Hyten's nomination is examined.
  • An Air Force official tasked with investigating Spletstoser's complaint declined to recommend Hyten to a court-martial in June.

What she's saying: After Hysten was nominated be the next Joint Chiefs vice chair, Spletstoser said, “I realized I have a moral responsibility to come forward," per the Times.

Flashback: An anonymous senior military officer told the AP earlier this month that Hyten kissed, hugged and rubbed up against her in 2017 — and that he "tried to derail her military career after she rebuffed him."

Go deeper: Military sexual assaults reported in Pentagon survey jump to 20,000

Go deeper

NRA files for bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for voluntary bankruptcy as part of a restructuring plan.

Driving the news: The gun rights group said it would reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment." Last year, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.

A new Washington

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Image

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday that the city should expect a "new normal" for security — even after President-elect Biden's inauguration.

The state of play: Inaugurations are usually a point of celebration in D.C., but over 20,000 troops are now patrolling Washington streets in an unprecedented preparation for Biden's swearing-in on Jan. 20.