Pete Hegseth Defends Troops Asking Trump to Sign MAGA Hats: It’s ‘Insane’ How the Media Nitpicks This President
During Thursday’s episode of Fox & Friends, co-host Pete Hegseth, a former Army officer, defended the service members who asked President Donald Trump to sign some “Make America Great Again” hats while he was visiting them in a surprise visit to Iraq and Germany.
“You can ship whatever you want or have one ship it to you and you are allowed to have political beliefs,” Hegseth explained. “You can’t shove them on someone else. I have had a political debate with Democrats overseas in front of my platoon. You can have these conversations.
“So, and there was speculation Trump folks brought hats and handed them,” he continued. “There is a lot of guys in the military we are like ‘maybe we should put America first.’ It’s so insane that these networks find a reason to nitpick this president in every way, while he’s overseas with the troops. Man if I was deployed, I would probably have a MAGA hat and if the president showed up, he better sign it.”
The question of whether troops violated Department of Defense rules on political activity while in uniform has been raised by various media outlets.
Video footage and the written report of Trump's visit with service members in Iraq showed signing of hats and a "Trump 2020" patch.
But troops' requests for the autographs could brush up against Department of Defense guidelines for political activities. https://t.co/jUUqF91bcX
— CNN (@CNN) December 27, 2018
“DoD has a longstanding policy of encourage military personnel to carry out the obligations of citizenship. However, AD members will not engage in partisan political activities and all military personnel will avoid the inference that their political activities imply or appear to imply DoD sponsorship, approval or endorsement of a political candidate, campaign or cause,” the DOD states.
“Examples of political activities that are prohibited include campaigning for a candidate, soliciting contributions, marching in a partisan parade and wearing the uniform to a partisan event,” they add.
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