Former Clinton Defense Secretary’s Takedown of Trump’s July 4th: ‘It Is Not His Military, These Are Not His Generals’


Former Republican Senator and Defense Secretary William Cohen sharply criticized President Donald Trump’s overtly militarized and politicized plans for the capital’s Independence Day celebration, saying, “It is not his military, these are not his generals.”

Cohen, a three-term GOP senator from Maine who also served for four years as the Defense Secretary for President Bill Clinton, called Trump’s unabashed mixing of partisanship and the armed services “a bad idea,” especially on the 4th of July.

“I also am a traditionalist and the tradition in this country is for the 4th of July to be Independence Day,” Cohen added. “I think what the president has done in trying to promote this as a spectacular event, he’s sort of the ringmaster of the Greatest Show on Earth. And I think it comes at a time when he’s attempting to politicize the institutions in this country, which we like to think are being completely independent. He has referred to the military and to the generals as ‘my generals.’

“It is not his military. These are not his generals,” Cohen pointed out. “To me, the most troubling thing is the potential politicalization of the military. It is one of the last institutions in this country in which the American people see as being nonpolitical. And when the president goes and makes speeches as he did in Korea to say that ‘The Democrats wouldn’t do this for you, only I can do this for you,’ he is driving a wedge in this country.”

Cohen emphasized that this stoking of party lines with respect to the military by Trump could have troubling, long-lasting consequences.

“I support having planes fly overhead, but we can do that on Armed Forces day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day,” he said. “The moment the American people become convinced that if you’re a Republican, you support the military, if you’re a Democrat you don’t. It’s going to divide this country and make us less secure in the future.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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