Appearing on CNN’s New Day with host John Berman, retired Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute explained that Donald Trump finally went a bridge too far this week with retired military officials when his administration deployed military police to turn on peaceful protesters in a Washington D.C. park.
Speaking with the host, Lute — who also served as U.S. ambassador to NATO — said tension between the president and military officials has gradually increased over the past three and a half years, but that the past week’s incidents led to a “tipping point.”
After host Berman read off a list of high profile ex-military officials who have either criticized Trump or defended their former colleagues from attacks from the president, Lute was asked what had changed.
“I think the attention is clearly on the protests centered in and around the White House and, in particular, the president’s walk across Lafayette Park, essentially with his national security team in tow,” he explained. “That rightly gained a lot of attention this week and I think the basic point is that there’s been a steady incremental change over the last 3 1/2 years as to how the president relates to the military. It has only burst on to the public scene most prominently this week. This has been a process underway for at least 3 1/2 years under President Trump.”
“You have the president talking to the governors and recommending they crackdown violently and strongly against these largely peaceful protests, which the president refers to as being sponsored by terrorists when in fact they’re sponsored by concerned and outraged American citizens,” he continued. “You have the secretary of defense using inappropriate terms that the U.S. military could be used to dominate the ‘battle space.’ Well, that’s — those terms don’t apply to the U.S. military and the American citizens.”
“All of this led to the walk across Lafayette Park which had been violently cleared of peaceful protesters so the president could have a photo-op,” he added. “So the combination of these vignettes makes this decidedly different and in my view crosses the line in terms of appropriate presidential leadership clearly, but also appropriate relationship between the president and the military.”
Trump’s former White House doctor Ronny Jackson wins GOP runoff for Congress in Texas
Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and President Donald Trump's onetime nominee for secretary of veterans affairs, has won his bid for the Republican nomination for a solidly red congressional seat in the Texas Panhandle.
With 100% of polling locations reporting, though some mail-in ballots will still need to be counted, Jackson held a lead of 11 percentage points over Josh Winegarner, a veteran agriculture expert and lobbyist. Jackson and Winegarner were competing for a seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, who is retiring and held the seat since 1995.
Jeff Sessions’ fate is a warning for us all
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions lost his primary race to be the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama on Tuesday night in a landslide, according to Decision Desk HQ. Early returns showed him losing the shot to win back his old seat by more than 20 points to opponent Tommy Tuberville, who will face off against Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in November.
It wasn't a surprising loss for Sessions, though it is a brutal one. He gave up his seat in the Senate to become President Donald Trump's attorney general, and he lost his big chance to return because his one-time benefactor turned against him. Trump enthusiastically endorsed Tuberville while viciously and repeatedly denouncing Sessions.
Trump Jr. blasted for dragging Barron Trump into 2020 campaign: ‘You are messing up his mind’
President Donald Trump's eldest son on Tuesday dragged his 14-year-old half brother Barron into the 2020 presidential campaign -- and it did not end well.
Barron is the son of first lady Melania Trump from the president's third marriage, while junior's mother is Ivana, from the president's first marriage.
"In all fairness, Joe Biden is not capable of debating Barron Trump let alone Donald Trump," Trump, Jr. tweeted.
He was quickly blasted for bringing a minor into a presidential race.
Here's some of what people were saying: