Duckworth blasts Trump as ‘draft dodger’ after remarks on military

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Calling him among other things, a “five-deferment draft dodger,” U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois and a combat veteran, blasted the president during the weekend for his accusations that Democrats don’t care about the military.

Duckworth accused President Trump of failing to show leadership or take responsibility for leading in the wake of the government shutdown, now in its third day.

duckworth tammyspeechIn a speech on the Senate floor on Saturday, Duckworth urged the president to stop refusing to make a deal to fund the government and instead tell his party – which controls the House, Senate and the White House – to end the government shutdown.

“I spent my entire adult life looking out for the well-being, the training, the equipping of the troops for whom I was responsible. I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five-deferment draft dodger,” said Duckworth. “I have a message for Cadet Bone Spurs: if you cared about our military, you’d stop baiting Kim Jong-un into a war that could put 85,000 American troops — and millions of innocent civilians—in danger. You’d stop hiding behind your twitter account, stop blaming everyone else. You would tell your party — a party that controls the House, Senate and the White House — to do their job. Stop allowing the most extreme wing of your party to prevent us from passing a long-term funding solution that the military itself – your own leaders that you nominated and appointed – is asking for.”

Duckworth also urged the president and her colleagues in Congress to end the blame game and follow the example of our servicemembers – who go to work every day determined to work together to protect and defend this nation – by coming together to reach a bipartisan agreement.

“Our troops know how to work together. They stand shoulder to shoulder to protect and defend this country. We surely in these chambers can do the same,” Duckworth added. “So let’s stop blaming each and other and let’s get to work. Our men and women in uniform deserve nothing less.”

Duckworth’s remarks:

“This morning, Donald Trump tweeted that, I quote, “Democrats are holding our Military hostage” in this shut down – just the latest in a string of recent comments where he accuses Democrats like me of not caring about our military.

“And it’s the latest example of him failing to show leadership or take responsibility for leading this nation.

“Does he even know that there are servicemembers in harm’s way right now watching him, looking for their Commander in Chief to show leadership rather than try to deflect blame?

“Or that his own Pentagon says that the short-term funding plans that he seems intent on pushing is actually harmful not just to the military, but to our national security?

“I spent my entire adult life looking out for the well-being, the training, the equipping of the troops for whom I was responsible. Sadly, this is something the current occupant of the Oval Office does not seem to care to do.

“And I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five-deferment draft dodger. And I have a message for Cadet Bone Spurs: if you cared about our military, you’d stop baiting Kim Jong-un into a war that could put 85,000 American troops—and millions of innocent civilians—in danger.

“Last night, after the lights had been turned out in the White House and the President had gone to his private quarters, I voted to better train and equip our troops. To stop wasting the taxpayer’s dollars with yet another CR. I voted to make sure that our military men and women who are standing the line in the DMZ, who are in Iraq and Afghanistan, across Africa and Asia, get the help, the support and the equipment they need.

“If the President truly cared about them, then he would stop hiding behind his twitter account, stop blaming everyone else. And he would tell his party—a party that controls the House, Senate and the White House—to do their job. To govern. To stop allowing the most extreme wing of your party to prevent us from passing a long-term funding solution that the military itself – your own leaders that you nominated and appointed – is asking for.

“At the very least, you could ask your party to guarantee military pay and death benefits for our servicemembers and their families so the troops downrange aren’t putting their lives at risk overseas while also worrying about whether they’re going to be able to feed their families or if our government will take care of those families if — god forbid — they must make that last full measure of devotion for our nation.

“I am so disappointed that my Republican colleagues refused to allow us a vote for our troops last night, and I encourage them to please reconsider that vote.

“Let’s get to a full budget. Let’s move on. We can compromise, we can do this together. Si many of the options on the table are bipartisan. In fact, a majority of them are Republican-authored.

“Our troops know how to work together. They stand shoulder to shoulder to protect and defend this country. We surely in these chambers can do the same. So, let’s stop blaming each and other and let’s get to work. I will be here today as I was yesterday and will be tomorrow to get this done. Our men and women in uniform deserve nothing less.”

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