The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee says President Donald Trump is politicizing the military with a “troubling rhetorical pattern” of talking politics when he addresses military audiences.
“This cannot continue,” said Washington state Democratic Rep. Adam Smith.
On Monday, Trump wove politics into his speech at the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, where he spoke to senior U.S. commanders during his first official visit to the headquarters of the U.S. Central Command.
“We had a wonderful election, didn’t we?” Trump said. “And I saw those numbers – and you like me, and I like you. That’s the way it worked.”
Attempts to politicize the military like this are never appropriate, and they put our men and women in uniform in an untenable position.
Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee
Smith said Trump made political remarks to “a military audience that is duty-bound to be apolitical.” He said the president began the pattern last month when he brought up politics during his first visit to the CIA headquarters.
“Attempts to politicize the military like this are never appropriate, and they put our men and women in uniform in an untenable position,” Smith said.