President Donald Trump used a Thanksgiving morning call with military members deployed overseas to unleash a torrent of attacks on the U.S. court system and refugees from Central America, a stark departure from typical holiday greetings from the commander in chief.
Trump said “large numbers of people are forming at our border,” and said, “in many cases, we have no idea who they are, and in many cases, they’re not good people. They’re bad people.”
“We’re not letting in anybody, essentially, because we want to be very, very careful,” Trump said.
Trump then kept up his attacks about federal judges whose decisions he disagrees with.
“We get a lot of bad court decisions from the Ninth Circuit which has become a big thorn in our side,” Trump said in reference to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“We always lose, and then you lose again and again,” the president complained. “It’s a terrible thing when judges take over your protective services when they tell you how to protect your border. It’s a disgrace.”
“So we’re winning, and you’re winning,” Trump added.
“This was, sadly, predictable and avoidable,” said retired Rear Adm. John Kirby, a CNN military and diplomatic analyst. “The President’s conduct on that call, the manner in which he politicized it, demonstrated an utter and complete disregard for what military service means.”
“The president bringing up political issues with those commanders in front of their soldiers is a horrible position to put them in,” said CNN military analyst and retired Lt. General Mark Hertling. “And you notice that not a single one of them commented on really what were some obvious distortions of issues, like judges.”
Hertling laid out his objections one by one, but he was most incensed about Trump’s public comments about weapons systems with the commander of the USS Ronald Reagan.
“He was put in a position on commenting about Navy readiness and the type of equipment that (is) on aircraft carriers, announcing it to the whole world, how what is happening with different types of experimental launch systems,” Hertling said. “All of those things are just flat-out wrong.”