Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday morning to double down on her criticism of President Donald Trump for his repeated contention that Democrats are deliberately trying to harm the United States military.
The war of words started last week when Trump took to Twitter to accuse Democrats of pushing for illegal immigration at the expense of the military, which the president claims are what led to the recent government shutdown. Duckworth escalated the fight when, in a speech on the Senate floor, she coined the name “Cadet Bone Spurs” for President Trump, a reference to a foot problem which led to one of his deferments from military service, and referred to the president in a tweet as a “five deferment draft dodger.”
In her interview Sunday morning with Face the Nation‘s Nancy Cordes, Senator Duckworth clarified what she meant when she leveled the “five deferment draft dodger” charge.
“Four for school and one for medical reasons that he can’t even remember what foot the bone spur was in. I can still feel the hangnail in my right foot, and it’s missing! And– and you know, we have a guy that says he had a bone spur that kept him out of Vietnam and he can’t remember where it was.”
Duckworth is a former U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel who is the first Asian-American woman elected to Congress, as well as being the first congressperson of Thai descent. She was a helicopter pilot during the Iraq War, losing both her legs as the result of combat-related wounds. She was the first female double amputee of the Iraq War.
She continued in her Face the Nation interview to say that, while she believes Trump is a legitimately elected president, she thinks that he doesn’t have “the right to question other people’s support for our military, especially those of us who have served.”
According to an article in The Hill, Senator Duckworth’s comments Sunday come in the wake of a fiery speech in front of the Senate last Saturday where she accused President Trump of being the one who truly didn’t care about the military, saying that if he was really concerned about American troops he would stop trying to bait North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un into starting a nuclear war that would put the lives of all service men and women, not to mention those of all American civilians, in mortal danger.
Duckworth followed that up with her now famous “draft dodger” tweet.
According to a recent report in the Atlantic, Senator Duckworth has recently returned from a trip to South Korea and Japan, where she became alarmed at the level of preparation the U.S. Army has already made for a potential war with North Korea, saying that the military’s attitude in the area is that war is “probably going to happen.” She feels it is largely the heated and aggressive rhetoric coming from Trump and his administration that have put the United States in this dangerous situation.
You can watch Senator Duckworth’s speech to the Senate below.
In her Face the Nation interview Senator Duckworth also discussed her recently announced pregnancy, and that she will be the first senator to give birth while serving in the Congress.