Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) tore into President Trump on the Senate floor Saturday, calling him a “five-deferment draft dodger” and slamming him for his comments toward North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“Does he even know that there are service members who are in harm’s way right now, watching him, looking for their commander in chief to show leadership, rather than [trying] to deflect blame?” Duckworth said. “Or that his own Pentagon says that the short-term funding plans he seems intent on pushing is actually harmful to not just the military, but to our national security?”
“I spent my entire adult life looking out for the well-being, the training, the equipping of the troops for whom I was responsible,” she continued. “Sadly, this is something that the current occupant of the Oval Office does not seem to care to do — and I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five-deferment draft dodger.”
“And I have a message for cadet bone spurs: If you cared about our military, you’d stop baiting Kim Jong Un into a war that could put
85,000 American troops, and millions of innocent civilians, in danger.”
Duckworth, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, lost both of her legs when a rocket-propelled grenade shot down the helicopter she was piloting over Iraq in 2004.
Duckworth’s comments come after the federal government shut down Friday at midnight after the Senate failed to pass a short-term funding bill.
Trump has cast blame on the Democrats for the shutdown, tweeting Saturday that they decided to “play shutdown politics.”
The White House has also blasted Democrats, accusing them of putting “unlawful immigrants” ahead of the military and other funding needs.
“We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders, we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform.”
Democrats have countered that Trump’s demands on an immigration compromise led to the shutdown. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he thought he had come to a deal with Trump on Friday by offering funding for Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall, but the president ultimately walked away from that deal.
“Negotiating with this White House is like negotiating with Jell-O,” Schumer said Saturday. “It’s next to impossible. As soon as you take one step forward, the hard-right forces the president three steps back.”