Retired U.S. Navy admiral and NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis on Friday slammed Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving speech to U.S. troops, during which the president thanked himself for “letting” the military win—unlike his predecessors.
“Everybody's talking about the progress you've made in the last few months since I opened it up,” Trump said Thursday. “We opened it up. We said, ‘Go ahead. We're going to fight to win. We're not fighting anymore to just walk around. We're fighting to win.’”
“We have to let you win,” Trump continued. “They weren't letting you win before. They were letting you play even. We're letting you win.”
MSNBC’s Ali Velshi seemed dumbfounded by Trump’s remarks, telling Stavridis, “I don't know how to say it. That's just weird. It's insulting to the men and women who have been in Afghanistan for close on 17 years in different rotations. I don't know how that goes over with military people.”
“It doesn't go over well at all, Ali,” Stavridis replied. “Frankly, I commanded that mission, as the NATO commander, that's a NATO mission. i had 150,000 nato troops, about 100,000 americans. I assure you, they were fighting to win every minute of every moment under previous presidents.”
“I think this is just an example of our current president trying to score cheap political points by mis-messaging what is happening,” Stavridis continued. “In fairness, there is an uptick—small uptick—in tactical activity, but to impugn the desire of our troops to win throughout this 17-year journey we've had in Afghanistan is unsettling to any active duty military or those like me who served previously.”
Watch below, via MSNBC: