One of the most highly-decorated retired US Army generals likened Republicans and Democrats to a 'Trump cult' and a 'clown car'
Retired four-star US Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, one of the most highly-decorated officers in the nation, signaled his dismay at the polarizing political climate of the country. "Our two political parties are broken," McCaffrey said in a tweet, calling the Republican Party "a Trump cult" for what he saw as failing to hold Trump accountable via impeachment. McCaffrey also took issue with Democrats, whom he likened to a "clown car that cannot bring together a fractious America with a sensible message." Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
One of the most highly-decorated retired US Army officers signaled his dismay at the polarizing political climate of the country, as President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening. "Our two political parties are broken," retired four-star Gen. Barry McCaffrey said in a tweet. He called the Republican Party "a Trump cult" for what he saw as its failure to hold Trump accountable in his impeachment trial. On Wednesday afternoon, Trump was acquitted on charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power in relation to his controversial contacts with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his rejection of congressional subpoenas. Trump's 78-minute speech to the joint session of Congress on Tuesday was met with protests from Democratic lawmakers on several occasions. The most striking was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's dramatic act of ripping up his speech towards the end. McCaffrey also took issue with Democrats, whom he likened to a "clown car that cannot bring together a fractious America with a sensible message of what a united America looks like." His comment comes as presidential hopefuls campaign in the Democratic primaries, which were supposed to have kicked off in the Iowa caucuses on Monday. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Iowa Democratic Party had released only partial results from the caucuses due to a glitchy app used by officials to record votes. McCaffrey was awarded three Purple Heart medals, two Distinguished Service Crosses, and two Silver Stars during his 32-year military career. The former infantry officer served multiple combat tours with the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division during the Vietnam War and commanded the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division during Operation Desert Storm. McCaffrey later went on to serve as the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy for President Bill Clinton's administration. McCaffrey has been highly critical of the Trump administration in the past. He described Trump's surprise visit to US troops in Iraq in 2018, the first in his presidency, as "embarrassing" and "entirely inappropriate." During his trip, Trump signed pieces of campaign memorabilia for the troops, including hats emblazoned with the "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan — an act which McCaffrey suggested was politicizing the non-partisan stance of the US military.SEE ALSO: 'He will have taken a step to dishonor our armed forces': One of the most highly-decorated retired US Army generals warns Trump against pardoning war criminals Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: We can thank the US military for the smelliest weapon in the world
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'Lay down your arms, uphold your oath': Former military leaders and lawmakers resoundingly blast Trump's idea of deploying US troops on American streets
President Donald Trump's message of using federalized troops to quell the George Floyd protests caught the...President Donald Trump's message of using federalized troops to quell the George Floyd protests caught the ire of congressional lawmakers with national security experience and retired senior military officials. The Insurrection Act was last invoked during the Los Angeles riots in 1992. Previous presidents were explicitly asked by state leaders for federal military aid. "America is not a battleground. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy," retired US Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Twitter. "I am less confident in the soundness of the orders they will be given by this commander in chief, and I am not convinced that the conditions on our streets, as bad as they are, have risen to the level that justifies a heavy reliance on military troops," retired US Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said in an opinion column. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. President Donald Trump's urging of state leaders to deploy their National Guard assets to "dominate the streets" amid the nationwide protests caught the ire of congressional lawmakers with national security experience and retired senior military officials. Trump on Monday explicitly urged governors to utilize their National Guard to end the "riots and lawlessness that has spread throughout our country," or else be faced with possibility of having federal US military forces deployed in their states. Trump has floated the 213-year-old Insurrection Act, which allows him, through an executive order, to deploy US forces inside the country to suppress an insurrection and to facilitate the execution of existing laws. The Insurrection Act was last invoked during the Los Angeles riots in 1992, when riots and looting erupted in the wake of the acquittal of four police officers involved in the Rodney King beating. "If the city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residence, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them," Trump said in a speech at the Rose Garden. There have been amendments to expand the act following the urgent need for federal aid — after natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina or to thwart potential terrorist attacks. The commander-in-chief does have the express authority to use federalized forces within US borders, but historical precedent has shown that state leaders have consented to such deployments. During the Los Angeles riots for instance, California Gov. Pete Wilson urged President George H.W. Bush for aid and to declare the county a national disaster area. Some state officials have shunned Trump's suggestion and were even reluctant to activate their own National Guard forces in the state. Gov. Kate Brown activated 50 unarmed Oregon National Guardsmen on Monday as a "support function only" service to law enforcement operations "behind the scenes." "Our goal, and the goal of the overwhelming number of protesters should be to reduce violence," Brown said Monday afternoon. "You don't defuse violence by putting soldiers on our streets. Having soldiers on the streets across America is exactly what President Trump wants. He's made that very clear on a call this morning." Military veterans in Congress and former senior defense officials have widely scrutinized Trump's idea of deploying federal troops. Meanwhile, a senior official on Tuesday also said the Pentagon would "like all of this to stay a National Guard response," according to Breaking Defense. "America's military, our sons and daughters, will place themselves at risk to protect their fellow citizens," retired US Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Twitter. "Their job is unimaginably hard overseas; harder at home. Respect them, for they respect you. America is not a battleground. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy." Retired US Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, another former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was "sickened" by the presence of the National Guard outside St. John's Church during Trump's controversial photo session on Monday. "I remain confident in the professionalism of our men and women in uniform," Mullen wrote in an opinion column titled, "I Cannot Remain Silent." "They will serve with skill and with compassion. They will obey lawful orders. But I am less confident in the soundness of the orders they will be given by this commander in chief, and I am not convinced that the conditions on our streets, as bad as they are, have risen to the level that justifies a heavy reliance on military troops." "Certainly, we have not crossed the threshold that would make it appropriate to invoke the provisions of the Insurrection Act," Mullen wrote. Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, a retired Marine Corps infantry officer who served multiple deployments to Iraq, said Trump "has made it clear that the fight for these Constitutional principles is a fight against himself." "We must therefore, with every ounce of conviction, every commitment to peace, and every glimmer of hope, join in lawful protest to overcome his tyranny," Moulton said. "And if he chooses to abuse the military as a tyrant would do —to stifle dissent, suppress freedom, and cement inequality — then I call on all our proud young men and women in uniform, as a veteran and a patriot, to lay down your arms, uphold your oath, and join this new march for freedom." "Be on the right side of history: the side of patriots, of our Constitution, of our flag, and of our freedom," he added. Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, a Purple Heart recipient and a retired US Army helicopter pilot, described Trump as a "five-time draft dodging coward who is more interested in looking like a leader than actually being one." "We cannot allow any Commander in Chief to use our active-duty service members to silence our neighbors. To drive yet another wedge between Americans," Duckworth said in a statement. Democratic Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement that "the domestic deployment of our armed services is an incredibly serious undertaking that should not be taken lightly." "I urge President Trump to reverse course and use the full weight of the presidency to calm tensions across the country, not escalate them," Smith added. "It simply doesn't have to be this way." Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, proposed an amendment in the next year's National Defense Authorization Act budget that would prevent military troops from responding to peaceful protests. "The President is trying to turn the American military against American citizens who are peacefully protesting on domestic soil, which they have every right to do. I'm not going to stand for it," Kaine said in a statement. " "I can tell you: this is not what the United States military is for," Kaine added. "I never thought we would have to use the NDAA to make clear that the US military shouldn't be used as an agent of force against American citizens who are lawfully assembling. I thought that would seem obvious to everyone." Republican lawmakers have widely dodged Trump's suggestion of using federalized troops in their state and instead blamed the protesters who "engaged in violence." "Now is the time for strong leadership," Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said to Fox News during an interview on Tuesday. "Rioting should not be tolerated. It cannot be allowed and we need strong leadership from the president, from the attorney general, from governors, from mayors, from police chiefs." Meanwhile, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said his state did not require federal aid. "We will not be asking the United States military to come into the state of Texas because we know that Texans can take care of Texans," he said during a press conference.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Pathologists debunk 13 coronavirus myths
Mitt Romney is only Republican to vote to convict TrumpIowa results show Buttigieg with tiny lead...Mitt Romney is only Republican to vote to convict TrumpIowa results show Buttigieg with tiny lead over SandersHelp us cover the critical issues of 2020. Consider making a contribution 12.07pm GMT Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine who was one of the key figures in the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, his written for the Washington Post to accuse the Trump administration of having “undermined our democratic institutions”. We must not allow the United States to become a country where standing up to our government is a dangerous act. It has been shocking to experience the storm of criticism, lies and malicious conspiracies that have preceded and followed my public testimony, but I have no regrets. I did — we did — what our conscience called us to do …This administration, through acts of omission and commission, has undermined our democratic institutions, making the public question the truth and leaving public servants without the support and example of ethical behavior that they need to do their jobs and advance U.S. interests. 11.40am GMT To add to the woes of the Iowa Democratic party, Trump supporters began phoning its caucus results hotline on Monday, slowing the reporting process down further, Bloomberg (the news site, not the presidential candidate) reports. According to two participants on the call, Ken Sagar, a state Democratic central committee member, was among those answering the hotline on caucus night and said people called in and expressed support for Trump. The phone number became public after people posted photos of caucus paperwork that included the hotline number, one of the people on the call said. Continue reading...
Trump used speech to brag about ‘the great American comeback’ but House speaker said she couldn’t...Trump used speech to brag about ‘the great American comeback’ but House speaker said she couldn’t find ‘one page with truth on it’An emboldened Donald Trump bragged about the “great American comeback” in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, in a speech resembling an 81-minute re-election rally that prompted the most powerful woman in Congress to rip up her copy of the speech on national television.The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said she tore up the address, which he delivered on the eve of the verdict in his impeachment trial, because she couldn’t find “one page with truth on it”. Continue reading...