During his first visit to US combat troops abroad, President Donald Trump created a major controversy about politicizing the military. Trump have a speech to the troops attacking Democrats and calling for a southern border wall. Presidents have historically kept remarks to the troops abroad apolitical.
Presidential historian Michael Beschloss is among a chorus of voices condemning Trump’s decision to politicize the troops. Beschloss was on the Rachel Maddow Show last night, hosted by Joy Reid, and unloaded on Trump for his behavior.
“I thought it was obscene,” Beschloss said, after Reid showed a clip of Trump’s comments. “Just as you were saying, the president goes to speak to Americans whose lives are in jeopardy, the tradition is you keep it nonpolitical — you try to unite the group.”
“And for him to start talking about — in a nasty way — about Democrats and Nancy Pelosi and we’ve been played for suckers in the past, that’s fine if you want to say those things at a Trump rally, because people go to a Trump rally voluntarily and if they hear things they do not like, they can leave,” the historian said.
“These are young Americans for the most part who have chosen to serve their country, if the president says something they privately disagree with they don’t have the right to jeer him or get up and leave the way the rest of us do if we’re here in the United States.”
“I thought it was disrespectful,” Beschloss concluded.
There is continuing controversy over Trump’s decision to sign his trademark ‘Make America Great Again’ hats for some troops, which may violate Pentagon rules. Trump has strongly denied he broke any rules.