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Trump: U.S. generals ‘reduced to rubble,’ he’d replace some

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks with ‘Today’ show co-anchor Matt Lauer at the NBC Commander-In-Chief Forum held at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space museum aboard the decommissioned aircraft carrier Intrepid, New York, today.

NEW YORK » Leveling unusually harsh criticism against the military, Republican Donald Trump said tonight that America’s generals have been “reduced to rubble” under President Barack Obama and suggested he would fire some of them if he wins the presidency in November.

Trump’s comments came during a televised national security forum where he and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton each fielded 30 minutes of questions about their experience and judgment to be commander in chief. While the candidates never appeared on stage together, their back-to-back sessions served as a preview of sorts for their upcoming debates.

By virtue of a coin flip, Clinton took the stage first and quickly found herself responding at length to questions about her years in government. She reiterated that she had made mistakes in relying on a personal email account and private server as secretary of state and in voting for the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a senator. But she defended her support for U.S. military intervention to help oust a dictator in Libya, despite the chaotic aftermath.

“I’m asking to be judged on the totality of my record,” said Clinton, who grew visibly irritated at times with the repeated focus on her past actions.

Clinton, who has cast Trump as dangerously ill-prepared to be commander in chief, tried to center the discussion on her foreign policy proposals should she win in November. She vowed to not send American ground troops into Iraq or Syria to fight the Islamic State group. And she pledged to hold weekly Oval Office meetings with representatives from the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs to stay abreast of health care for veterans.

Trump did little to counter the criticism that he lacks detailed policy proposals, particularly regarding the Islamic State. He both insisted he has a private blueprint for defeating the extremist group and that he would demand a plan from military leaders within 30 days of taking office.

Asked to square his request for military options with his harsh criticism of the current crop of generals, Trump said simply: “They’ll probably be different generals.”

Trump renewed his praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin for having “great control over his country.” He stood by a previous comment that appeared to blame military sexual assaults on men and women serving together, but added he would not seek to remove women from the military. And for the first time, he opened the door to granting legal status to people living in the U.S. illegally who join the military.

“I think that when you serve in the armed forces, that’s a very special situation,” Trump said. “And I could see myself working that out.”

As a businessman with no substantial national security experience, Trump was vague about how he is preparing for the enormous array of complex issues that would land on his desk as commander in chief. He cited his team of military advisers, but also said he has “a common sense” that will help him make decisions on foreign policy.

With just two months until Election Day, national security has emerged as a centerpiece issue in the White House race. Both candidates believe they have the upper hand, with Clinton contrasting her experience with Trump’s unpredictability and the Republican arguing that Americans worried about their safety will be left with more of the same if they elect Obama’s former secretary of state.

While GOP candidates are often seen by voters as having an advantage on military and national security issues, Trump is far from a traditional Republican. He has no military experience and has repeatedly criticized the skill of the armed forces.

A flood of Republican national security experts have instead chosen to back Clinton, helping bolster her case that Trump is broadly unacceptable. Earlier Wednesday, former Defense Secretary William Cohen joined the list of GOP officials supporting Clinton.

Ahead of the forum, Trump rolled out a new plan to boost military spending by tens of billions of dollars, including major increases in the number of active troops, fighter planes, ships and submarines.

His address earlier in the day also included plans to eliminate deep spending cuts known as the “sequester” that were enacted when Congress failed to reach a budget compromise in 2011. Republicans and Democrats voted for the automatic, across-the board cuts that affected both military and domestic programs, though the White House has long pressed Congress to lift the spending limits.

Trump expressed support for the sequester in interviews in 2013 — even describing them as too small — but seemed to suggest at the time that military spending should be exempt.

A senior adviser said ahead of the speech that Trump would make sure the additional spending was fully paid for but did not explain how.

The United States currently spends more than $600 billion a year on the military, more than the next seven countries combined.

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  • That’s classic Trump – Praise a loathsome, murderous dictator like Putin and criticize the leadership of the American Armed Forces. It would be impossible to make up someone less fit to be President.

    He’s a psychotic. The fact that his supporters can’t see that is remarkable.

    • RELATED: FBI Documents: Hillary Blamed Her Email Lawbreaking on HER CONCUSSION Right in the middle of her “Russia-Trump Conspiracy” lecture to reporters aboard her plan, she was forced to cut short her story by another “seasonal allergy” attack (odd aboard was is likely a heavily filtered air cabin), retreating to the safety of the front seats withe the reappearance of her African American ‘handler’ once again.

      Source: http://www.glennbeck.com/2016/09/06/msnbc-cuts-live-coverage-as-hillary-has-one-of-the-worst-coughing-fits-ever-blames-seasonal-allergies/?utm_source=glennbeck&utm_medium=contentcopy_link

      • That’s related? How do you figure that?

        And I see you’re still not capable of writing your own words. Over the eight years of Mrs. Clinton’s administration, that might be a good thing for you to learn. So in the 2024 election cycle, you can post your own words. Is that a great idea or what?

        • Just getting the word out. HiLIARy is guilty regarding leaking classified information and should be in prison. The Clinton Foundation is corrupt. HiLIARy is lying when she is not coughing. Her husband is a rapist.

    • I think he is criticizing the generals who haven’t been purged by Barry. Many of them are Barry “yes men” and make national defense decisions based on politics rather than common sense. They’re more concerned integrating ladies into special forces and funding and supporting gender change than they are about readiness. Then you get Clinton taking ground troops off the table in the fight against ISIS. Now that’s rather imbecilic don’t you agree? I can’t imagine the military rank and file is chomping at the bit to elect Hillary after she abandoned the brave men in Benghazi and then lied over and again about it. What wasn’t discussed in the article is Hillary’s rapidly declining health. Not a good resume bullet for a potential commander in chief.

      • Which general officers, specifically, are the President’s “yes men” and what decisions have they made that resulted in your very scholarly analysis?

        You won’t have an answer for that of course, since you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. But reading your attempt should be entertaining.

        • Oh I don’t know maybe Maj. Gen. Dahl who presided over the investigation of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s mysterious “disappearance” He gave the guy a pass because it would have made little Barry look bad after the Rose Garden lovefest with Bergdahl’s parents after Barry swapped him for 5 very dangerous Taliban dudes.

        • CEI – I see. So you think that being tried by general court-martial on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy (scheduled for early 2017) is giving someone “a pass?” I’m a former JAG officer and I can assure you that a general court-martial is not “a pass.” But you certainly are the expert here.

          So now that we’ve confirmed beyond any doubt whatever that you have no idea what you’re talking about, how about trying again?

        • CEI – Major General Dahl’s investigation resulted in the decision being made for the general court-martial. Do you have any idea about how criminal investigations are conducted in the Army or how the results are evaluated regarding decisions to prosecute under the UCMJ? I’m guessing no. But it’s always best to criticize things you know nothing about.

          Keep trying!

        • Sorry, that’s a big negative. My original post which you had such a hard time deciphering referred to the investigation conducted in 2015 that found no evidence Bergdahl intended to desert. That’s the pass I was referencing. I neither mentioned nor alluded to the court martial. I can see why you are a “former” JAG officer. You made a rookie mistake jumped to a conclusion that wasn’t part of the original post. But I forgive you. I am after all, a compassionate conservative.

        • CEI – Any more “yes men’ general officers to criticize?

          You’re right that the investigation found no evidence that there was any intention to commit desertion. I was commenting that you have absolutely no idea what evidence was presented; how credible that evidence was or is; the psychological evaluation of the mens rea of Sgt. Bergdahl. Nothing. Zero.

          But despite that, you criticized General Dahl.

          How about any others you want to criticize?

        • Gen. Casey shamed himself while trying to please little Barry. You may recall the Maj. Nidal “workplace violence” incident. The good Major mowed down 13 innocent people at Fort Hood while shouting what Jihadi’s usually shout while murdering innocent people. I won’t say what he shouted so the suspicions of the moderators are not aroused. Anyhow, Gen Casey stuck to Barry’s party line like a good little boy and elevated diversity above the lives of the victims of Maj, Hasan. Here’s the quote for your edification: “Our diversity not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.” So lets agree that you overstepped and temper your posts in the future. Oh yeah, tell your pal haroldm to go back to his Oprah reruns and jelly donuts, he’s an amateur.

        • CEI, has fictional degrees, a fictional PhD, and even fictional careers, more than one (go back on his posts and like many folks who spin tales, he contradicts himself as the lies start really piling up and are hard to track).

          So, now he has more fictional legal knowledge than a former JAG officer–so utterly and pathetically laughable. I will give him this, he is resilient, everyday he gets bludgeon with facts and real actual knowledge, but still goes on with his quest to spread sulfurous commentary….

        • CEI – Well, here’s yet another remarkable analysis you have developed – that General George Casey, the former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, had “shamed himself” while speaking about Muslims serving in the Armed Forces.

          What about General Casey’s conduct or statements do you think was false or misplaced? The answer, of course, is none of them, and again you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. General Casey served with distinction for decades, and would not lie or make a misstatement in uniform if his life depended on it.

          It’s shocking that Trump supporters have so low an opinion of our military leaders. Your examples are obviously grown from your spectacular ignorance – that you have proven in this thread – and I suspect that other Trump folks are stuck in the same sad and deep knowledge gap that you’re in.

        • Ikefromeli – The ignorance is shocking – even for this crowd. But it all stems from Mr. Trump, who seems to have no idea as to what the relationship is between a President and the Armed Forces. He believes that honorable women and men in uniform will obey his unlawful orders, and that isn’t going to happen. Period. He doesn’t get it to a degree I would not think possible.

          Republicans have become pridefully ignorant, bigoted, racist cowards. The cowardice in particular is disgraceful for Americans.

        • Trump moving up in the polls. “Make America Great Again” Trump knows how the military really feels about Obama/Clinton. Gen. Michael Flynn’s Story Is Essential To Understanding Obama’s Failure To Defeat Terrorism.”Donald Trump has enormous respect for our military,” Flynn said. “He has enormous respect for the leaders we have that are serving today. What he knows is that the decisions that have been made, the incredibly poor judgment, the decision to pull out or Iraq and lead to the rise of ISIS. We really haven’t talked about Libya, the decision to attack Libya can almost be put solely on Hillary Clinton, and Libya is a disaster, it is no longer a nation state now.”

  • nbc: trump has 19 point lead over the female felon in latest poll of military veterans.

    veterans know bad leadership when they see it, and it’s called clinton/obama.

    19 point lead.

    • Almost 100% of former military officers I’ve talked to have told me Obama has promoted loyalty to the executive branch over any notions of defending the constitution. They have forced out good, loyal Americans and replaced them with political apparatchiks. For the sake of our country and the safety of our own citizens this has to be undone.

    • Trump was acknowledging that Putin is a strong leader. The Generals have followed instructions; if they don’t agree with the instructions they should resign. Somebody is responsible for the complete mess the world is in. Leading from behind hasn’t and won’t work. Who was responsible for ISIS obtaining 2000 military vehicles? Seems like the Generals dropped the ball on that one. I could give countless other examples. The end result has been thousands executed, refuges and chaos all over the world.

    • He also praises Kim Jong-Il for the way the Supreme Leader “handles” his opposition. Putin only invaded a neighboring Country for its resources, and assassinates his critics, nothing wrong with that.

  • Trump has a secret plan to defeat ISIS. No! Wait! He doesn’t have a plan — “his” generals will tell him what the plan is after his first 30 days.

  • Hillary as the commander in chief? Seriously? What would happen if she had a coughing fit while she had her hand on the nuke button? Answer that left wing geniuses.

  • Is this suppose to be an unbiased article? It reminds me of a “point”/ “counterpointer”, but someone forgot to offer the counterpoint.

    As predicted, one of the pro Hillary cable stations is bringing out Wesley Clark, who of course will praise Hillary as he seeks another government position. He’s a real political animal that feels he is really , really, clever in his praise of Hillary.

    How can even the strongest Hillary supporter believe that Hillary is trustworthy enough to be President. The Clinton Foundation, or the email controversy are 100 times worse than Watergate.

  • clinton news network cnn: trump leads the female felon in latest poll.

    new by clinton nbc: trump leads the congenital liar by 19 points among military veterans.

    plagued by a lifetime of criminal activity, money laundering, destroying evidence and perjury, hildebeast is falling behind even as her phalanx of professional campaigners, coconspirators and gruber voters flood the media with attack ads targeting trump and the american people.

    even this cream puff event set up to fluff the female felon couldn’t hide her stumbling selective memory short circuits. a 19 piont lead for the combover as the congenital liar’s failures in judgement and leadership were exposed in the friendliest of audiences.

    she even introduced yet another layer of lies to explain her personal and her staff’s intentional mishandling of classified information and the destruction of evidence even after a court subpoena to preserve, collect and produce evidence was issued.

    the beast will be gored during the debates when she is left exposed under the bright lights of truth and observation by the american people.

  • Washington Post headline: “Trump flunks the commander-in-chief test”
    Jennifer Rubin, the Post’s arch-conservative columnist, wrote that nothing Clinton said as “as awful as Trump’s rambling, incoherent and at times jaw-dropping performance.”

    Here are a few of the ways that Trump failed last night:
    1. repeatedly insulted the military and threatened to fire generals, revealing that he doesn’t understand the role of the commander-in-chief
    2. fawned over Putin
    3. blamed victims for sexual assault in the military
    4. lied about Iraq war support
    5. discussed what happened in classified briefings
    6. boasted about disrupting the government of an ally (Mexico)
    7. said that he had a plan to defeat ISIS and then said that he would wait for “his” generals to come up with a plan

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