VoteVets Sounds Alarm on Trump Troop Decisions on Border, Syria

Trump said to base decisions on Fox and Friends, and coincide with electoral calendar

WASHINGTON, DC – VoteVets, the largest progressive group of veterans in America, is today sounding the alarm about Donald Trump’s recent military decisions, regarding the border and Syria.

First, both the Secretary of Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen and White House press secretary Sarah Huckbee Sanders refused to deny that Donald Trump was inspired by a segment on Fox and Friends in ordering the mobilization of the National Guard for border patrol duty.

Then, the Associated Press, this morning, reported that Donald Trump is ordering the military to withdraw from Syria, just in time for the midterm elections, despite pushback from military leaders.

“This needs to stop, and Congress, in as much as it is legally able to, has to step in to keep Donald Trump in check,” said Will Fischer, Iraq War Veteran and Director of Government Relations for VoteVets.“Beyond being reckless and dangerous, it is the height of disrespect for our men and women in uniform to deploy them based on the orders of Fox and Friends, and to base their movements on the electoral calendar.  Our men and women in uniform entrust the commander in chief with their lives.  Their families entrust the commander in chief with their lives.  They don’t entrust their lives to Steve Doocy.  They don’t entrust their lives to someone who makes decisions based on the electoral calendar, like some TV executive planning sweeps week.”

“There is so much crazy that Donald Trump has done, that it’s easy to lose sight of just how crazy he is,” Fischer added. “But we implore our Congress, and our media, to not laugh this off.  Too many lives hang in the balance, when Donald Trump makes military decisions.  When he makes those calls based off of Fox and Friends and the electoral calendar, it means our other elected leaders have to step in and do something.”

Yesterday, in two separate exchanges at the White House press briefing, reporters asked if Trump’s decision to mobilize the Guard was based off of a Fox and Friends segment. The transcript is as follows:

Q Just a follow-up with Jeff’s question. Because this is the 440th day of the Trump administration. You talk about the urgency; you talk about it being April. But there’s a lot of speculation in the country that this might have something to do with something the President saw on television on Sunday morning, or it might have something to do with the fact that the President wants to shore up support amongst his political base. Can you speak to that speculation? Is it true?

SECRETARY NIELSEN: I think what is true is the President is frustrated. He has been very clear that he wants to secure our border. He’s been very clear that he wants to do that in a bipartisan way with Congress. I think what you’re seeing is the President taking his job very seriously, in terms of securing our border and doing everything we can, without Congress, to do just that. But I do hope, as soon as Congress comes back, that I can work with them.


Q I’m going back to two things that were talked about earlier. This sense of urgency about sending the National Guard to the border — the Secretary sort of sidestepped this question: Does this have anything to do with the report that the President saw on Fox News?

MS. SANDERS: I think it has everything to do with protecting the people of this country. I don’t think this should come as a surprise.

The President has been talking about securing the border for years, since he started on the campaign trail. He wanted to work through Congress. He asked them to do their jobs. He asked them to pass legislation that actually would close loopholes, that would secure our border, that would build a wall. He asked them to do a number of things.

They failed time and time again and now the President is making sure that, in between the Congress actually doing something, he’s doing what he can to protect the people of this country. And he’s going to continue to do that and look at different measures that he can do that, whether it’s through the National Guard, which is what he’s doing today; or whether it’s through other administrative actions that he has the authority to carry out without having to involve Congress, since they, simply — Democrats apparently can’t show up and actually do their jobs.

This morning, the Associated Press reported that Donald Trump is telling the military he wants troops to be removed from Syria, just before the 2018 elections. The AP noted advisers pushed back, “But Trump has signaled to his advisers that ideally, he wants all troops out within six months, according to three U.S. officials – a finale that would come shortly before the U.S. midterm elections.”

Founded in 2006, and backed by over 500,000 supporters, the mission of VoteVets.org is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home. VoteVets.org also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans’ interests in their day-to-day lives. VoteVets.org is committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world – with force when necessary – to protect America. While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America.