Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who lost both of her legs during an explosion in Iraq while serving in the US Army, blasted President Donald Trump as a “five-deferment draft dodger” during her remarks on the Senate floor Saturday.
“I spent my entire adult life looking out for the well-being, the training, the equipping of the troops for whom I was responsible. I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five-deferment draft dodger,” Duckworth said on Saturday.
Duckworth was responding to Trump’s tweet from early Saturday that said Democrats like her are responsible for the government shutdown and don’t care about the military because service members are expected to work without pay for the duration of the shutdown.
Her speech also called out Trump’s actions dealing with North Korea as well as his Twitter usage.
“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. You’d stop hiding behind your Twitter account, stop blaming everyone else. You would tell your party — a party that controls the House, Senate and the White House — to do their job. Stop allowing the most extreme wing of your party to prevent us from passing a long-term funding solution that the military itself — your own leaders that you nominated and appointed — is asking for,” Duckworth continued.
This isn’t the first time Duckworth has refereed to the President as “Cadet Bone Spurs,” which is a reference to the medical reason Trump used to avoid being drafted for the Vietnam War when he was a young adult.
Duckworth is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was a helicopter pilot in the Iraq War. She was the first female double amputee from the war after suffering severe combat wounds when her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down. After retiring from the Army, she was elected to Congress in 2013.
In her speech, Duckworth praised the military for its determination to work as one team for a common goal, and said Congress should follow its lead.
“Our troops know how to work together,” Duckworth said. “They stand shoulder-to-shoulder to protect and defend this country. We surely in these chambers can do the same. So let’s stop blaming each and other and let’s get to work. Our men and women in uniform deserve nothing less.”