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Trump Threatens To Veto Military Bill Unless They Keep Names Of Confederate Traitors On Army Bases



President Donald Trump Tuesday threatened to veto an annual “must-pass” military bill — including pay raises for troops — in order to prevent the renaming of military bases currently honoring Confederate traitors.

The Trump administration’s “Statement of Administration Policy” on the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) claims that the provision “is part of a sustained effort to erase from the history of the Nation those who do not meet an ever-shifting standard of conduct.”

The document warns that should the legislation arrive on Trump’s desk the way it is currently written, “his senior advisors would recommend that he veto it.”

The president has made similar statements previously in interviews and Twitter posts.

“He’s totally misjudging the moment,” said Stuart Stevens, a Republican political consultant who worked on the campaigns of George W. Bush and Mitt Romney and is a seventh-generation Mississippian. The state last month passed legislation removing the Confederate flag from its state flag.

“Mississippi took down its Confederate battle flag and Trump is trying to raise it over the White House,” Stevens said.

Trump defended the base names as well as the Confederate battle flag in a Fox News interview conducted last week.

“When people ― when people proudly have their Confederate flags, they’re not talking about racism. They love their flag, it represents the South, they like the South,” Trump said. “People right now like the South.”

Both House and Senate versions of the NDAA contain the military base language, which would require the Pentagon to rename bases currently named “after a person who served in the political or military leadership of any armed rebellion against the United States.”

It would apply to 10 Army bases named after leaders of the Confederacy who, by definition, committed treason against the United States between 1861 and 1865 by taking up arms against the government. They are located in six states, from Texas to Virginia, that left the Union, according to their articles of secession, for the purpose of protecting the right to own Black slaves, and include Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Benning in Georgia.