Tammy Duckworth (AP/M. Spencer Green)

Sen. Tammy Duckworth reminds Trump he is a "five-deferment draft dodger"

After Trump accused the Democrats of "holding the military hostage," Duckworth berated him on the Senate floor


Charlie May
January 21, 2018 3:47PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump spent his Saturday blaming the Democrats for the ongoing government shutdown, and claimed that the party was "holding our Military hostage, over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration." But Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., blasted his remarks and reminded the president that he is a "five-deferment draft dodger."

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Duckworth, a military veteran who lost both her legs in Iraq in 2004, made it clear that the president had no idea what he was talking about. She said his comments were the "latest example of him failing to show leadership to take responsibility for leading this nation."

"Does he even know that there are service members who are in harm’s way right now, watching him, looking for their commander in chief to show leadership, rather than to try to deflect blame?" Duckworth asked. "Or that his own Pentagon says that ... the short-term funding plans he seems intent on pushing is actually harmful to not just the military, but to our national security?"

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She went on, "I spent my entire adult life looking out for the well-being, the training, the equipping of the troops for whom I was responsible."

"Sadly, this is something that the current occupant of the Oval Office does not seem to care to do — and I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five-deferment draft dodger," Duckworth continued.

Trump, of course, deferred from the Vietnam War on fives occasions, one was for bone spurs in his heels, and the other four were for education reasons.

"And I have a message for cadet bone spurs: If you cared about our military, you'd stop baiting Kim Jong Un into a war that could put 85,000 American troops, and millions of innocent civilians, in danger," Duckworth said.

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The words fell on deaf ears, however, as Trump once again blamed the Democrats in a Sunday morning tweet in which he threatened the so-called nuclear option to end the ongoing shutdown.

Duckworth's comments come amidst a government shutdown, which reached its second day on Sunday. The president has repeatedly blamed the Democrats despite being the first president in U.S. history to have the government shutdown while his party held a majority. The stalemate between Republicans and Democrats has persisted, and negotiations have made little progress so far.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Saturday, "Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-O."

He added, "It’s next to impossible. As soon as you take one step forward, the hard-right forces the president three steps back."

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Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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