Washington, D.C. – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about President Trump’s remarks at CIA headquarters, and its discussion of politics and the military:
“We need to be clear that it is inappropriate for the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. armed forces to politicize the military. It is especially wrong to do so on hallowed ground such as the CIA memorial, during a supposedly apolitical speech about national security. The military should not be dragged into politics. Doing so disrespects their longstanding professional practices, and their duty to remain apolitical.”
“As Joint Chiefs Chairman Dunford has said about the military, ‘As an institution, the American people cannot be looking at us as a special-interest group or a partisan organization. They have to look at us as an apolitical organization that swears an oath to the Constitution of the United States—not an individual, not a party, not a branch of government—the Constitution of the United States.’”
The following is a relevant excerpt from President Trump’s remarks:
“You know, the military and the law enforcement, generally speaking, but all of it—but the military gave us tremendous percentages of votes. We were unbelievably successful in the election with getting the vote of the military. And probably almost everybody in this room voted for me, but I will not ask you to raise your hands if you did. But I would guarantee a big portion, because we're all on the same wavelength, folks. We're all on the same wavelength, right? He knows. It took Brian about 30 seconds to figure that one out, right, because we know we're on the same wavelength.
“But we're going to do great things. We're going to do great things. We've been fighting these wars for longer than any wars we've ever fought. We have not used the real abilities that we have. We've been restrained.”