War vet Sen. Duckworth on Trump draft deferments: ‘I’m sorry, but it’s baloney’

War vet Sen. Duckworth on Trump draft deferments: ‘I’m sorry, but it’s baloney’


[MUSIC PLAYING] ZAINAB SALBI: What does
it mean to be a woman who knows how to fight– be it in the battlefield
in a war zone or on the Senate floor? Senator Tammy Duckworth
is that woman. TAMMY DUCKWORTH:
Thank you, Illinois, for this unbelievable honor. ZAINAB SALBI: Tammy Duckworth
was elected to the US Senate for Illinois
in 2016 after serving four years in the House. But her career began
in the military. She was a Lieutenant Colonel
in the army for 23 years and served in the Iraq
war as a helicopter pilot. In 2004, she was struck down. TAMMY DUCKWORTH:
A rocket propelled grenade hit our helicopter,
exploding in my lap, ripping off one leg,
crushing the other, and tearing my right arm apart. But I kept trying to
fly until I passed out. ZAINAB SALBI: Duckworth
has a reputation for speaking her mind about
the state of the country. TAMMY DUCKWORTH: I didn’t shed
blood to defend this nation. I didn’t give up literally
parts of my body to have the Constitution trampled on. ZAINAB SALBI: And about
President Donald Trump. Because she is one of the
few politicians in Congress who has fought in combat,
Duckworth is using her voice to advocate for veterans
and active duty military alike, which often puts
her in direct opposition to President Trump. TAMMY DUCKWORTH: This
ban repeats the same kind of bigotry that once led our
units to be segregated by skin color, the same kind
of narrow-mindedness to keep women out of combat, and
silenced gay service members. ZAINAB SALBI: Today, we see war
and politics through the eyes of Senator Tammy Duckworth. Senator Duckworth, welcome
to “Through Her Eyes.” TAMMY DUCKWORTH:
It’s good to be here. ZAINAB SALBI: It is a
pleasure to have you. Let’s talk about war, because
you have served in war. And you have paid
a personal price. Was that war worth it? TAMMY DUCKWORTH: My
sacrifice was not for Iraq and was not for the war. My sacrifice was for
service to my country. And, for me, it was more
than worth it, because I believe in the Constitution. I believe in the supremacy of
the civilian over the military. That’s why we don’t
have military juntas in the United States. And so even though I did not
support the war in Iraq, even though I did not vote
for President Bush, he was our commander-in-chief. The Supreme Court said
he was legally elected. And the United States Congress
voted for the war in Iraq. And as a soldier– as a
professional soldier who truly believes that the civilian
is supreme over the military, it was my privilege to go serve. ZAINAB SALBI: The president’s
lack of military service is a real point of
contention for the senator. On several occasions, she
has blasted President Trump for not serving
in the Vietnam War because he said he had
bone spurs in his feet. You have recently called the
commander-in-chief right now, President Trump, a draft dodger,
a coward, cadet bone spurs. How deep is your
disrespect of him? TAMMY DUCKWORTH: Well,
he’s disrespectful to those who’ve served in uniform. I’m not one who likes
to go out and say names, but don’t attack the
military, and don’t attack our military men and women. Because, if you do, I will
be there to defend them. ZAINAB SALBI: Trump’s
recent interview with Piers Morgan set her off. PIERS MORGAN: You
were not able to serve in Vietnam because of a bone
spur condition in your feet. Do you wish you’d
been able to serve? Would you like to have
served your country? DONALD TRUMP: Well, I was
never a fan of that war, I’ll be honest with you. I thought it was a terrible war. I thought it was very far away. Nobody ever– you know,
you’re talking about Vietnam. And at that time, nobody had
ever heard of the country. ZAINAB SALBI: Senator
Duckworth tweeted in response, “hashtag cadet bone spurs:
no one cares whether you were a fan of the Vietnam War.” TAMMY DUCKWORTH: I’m
sorry, but it’s baloney. It’s baloney. He dodged a draft five times
using his personal privilege to get out of serving. He came up with
a bogus diagnosis of a bone spur,
which he can’t even tell you what foot it was in. If it was that bad,
you would remember. And so don’t attack
members of the military. Don’t wrap yourself
in the flag as if you’re some great patriot. Yet when the nation called
and asked you to respond, you didn’t. ZAINAB SALBI: So I want to
ask you about that, because he said, I would not have minded
to serve in the Vietnam War, he’s meaning, and
it would have been an honor to serve, actually. But I think I make up for
it right now because we are rebuilding our
military at a level that has never seen before. How do you respond to that? TAMMY DUCKWORTH: Baloney. It was the United States Senate
that voted for that budget to put money back
into our military. If anything, he’s cut funding
for our military readiness. He’s stealing from the military. He’s taking out of
the military’s budget in order to fund
this border wall. And, in fact, that money
that he’s taken out has come from things like,
in my own home state, a firefighting station
at the Air Force Base. So he’s basically taking away
firefighting capabilities that would protect
our Air Force pilots who might have an incident. And he’s taking a funding
from the rifle range for the Illinois
National Guardsmen so that they can
maintain their readiness. He’s sending troops
to the border to sit around in the desert– by the way, thousands of miles
from where these migrants are– instead of going to training. He’s also now been supportive
of deporting veterans who serve who are green card holders. He’s made it much more difficult
for folks in Iraq, for example, who served as translators and
kept American military men and women safe– he’s made it difficult for them
to come to the United States, even when they
themselves are being hunted down as a result of
their service to the military. So he’s not done anything for
military other than degrade it. So don’t take credit for
something that you didn’t do. ZAINAB SALBI: In
April, President Trump banned transgender people
from serving in the military because he says, quote, “they
take massive amounts of drugs,” which President Trump claims
is not allowed in the military. He has also cited the high cost
of gender reassignment surgery. DONALD TRUMP: Been
a very confusing issue for the military. And I think I’m doing the
military a great favor. TAMMY DUCKWORTH: Every
general in the military said that transgender Americans
serving in the military do not cause a threat
to the readiness. And, in fact, our
general said they should be allowed to serve. So who is he who’s
never worn the uniform, and who, in fact,
is a draft dodger to counter the decision of
generals, the advice of general to say, actually, we need
these people to serve? ZAINAB SALBI:
Duckworth also clashes with the Trump administration
on dealings with Iran. Tensions have been on the
rise ever since the president took office. DONALD TRUMP:
They’re not behaving. – There are increasing
tensions with Iran. – Is the US on a
path to a real war? ZAINAB SALBI: The US has
hit Iran with sanctions, and the administration
has withdrawn from a nuclear agreement that
curbed Iran’s nuclear program. Iran’s leadership
is fighting back and is threatening
to stockpile uranium. – We will break this
sanctions with honor. ZAINAB SALBI: Duckworth says
that the escalating tension with Iran has been fueled
by national security advisor, John Bolton. TAMMY DUCKWORTH: I
think that in that case, his administration is setting
us up for a war with Iran. I think, like many who have
never served and many who avoided their own service–
whether it was Dick Cheney or him or the like– he likes the idea of war. He likes to bump
his chest, as long as that someone else’s
children that are serving and not his own. I think that he set
up the conditions. So Mr. Bolton, who I think
is the person who is actually behind many of these
decisions, said there are two ways that
would provoke American action against the Iranians. Number one, if they continue
to develop nuclear weapons– but he doesn’t mention
the fact that we pulled out of the nuclear treaty– ZAINAB SALBI: Right. TAMMY DUCKWORTH: Which now
leaves Iran free to develop nuclear weapons, because we
pulled out of the treaty, which was something Mr. Bolton did. And then he said, would
be if the Iranians attack American forces first. And now he’s going to
try to send 120,000 troops towards Iran
so that there’s more Americans to be targeted. So I think it’s never
been a doubt that Mr. Bolton wants a war with Iran. He’s been a warmonger
for a very long time, and, apparently, he
has Mr. Trump’s ear and is making those
decisions for the president. They’re baiting the
Iranians for a war. And what they’re using as
bait are American troops. ZAINAB SALBI: Senator
Duckworth is fighting to reform how the military
prosecutes and punishes harassment and sex crimes. Sexual assaults are
on the rise, with more than 20,000 reports last year. Do you think the
US military have done enough to
protect its personnel from sexual harassment? TAMMY DUCKWORTH:
They’ve done a lot. They made a lot of progress. But, obviously, it’s
not been enough. Obviously, there’s something
wrong within the system that despite everything
that the military has tried, and despite everything that
legislators like myself or Kirsten Gillibrand
or Claire McCaskill have tried over the last 10
years, it’s still a problem. And, in many ways, it’s
worse than it was before. ZAINAB SALBI: Why? TAMMY DUCKWORTH: I don’t know. We don’t know what
this issue is. But one thing we do
know is that there still continues to be a problem with
the military’s judicial system as it pertains to sexual
harassment and sexual assault in the military. I don’t see the same
reports with other crimes in the military, but I do see
it with the sexual crimes. So I am now getting to the
point where I do support moving the investigation,
prosecution, decision making and all of those sentencing
of those crimes out of the military
judicial system– out from underneath– out from
underneath the commanders– the chain of command. ZAINAB SALBI: You’re
also taking on McDonald’s on sexual harassment. TAMMY DUCKWORTH: I am. ZAINAB SALBI: So the
military to one of the– the largest restaurant
chains in America. McDonald’s is facing allegations
of rampant sexual harassment of female employees. Senator Duckworth has teamed up
with fellow senators, including Kamala Harris, Elizabeth
Warren, and Bernie Sanders to demand a new sexual
harassment protocol. What is the issue
with McDonald’s sexual harassment policies? TAMMY DUCKWORTH: Well, they have
this great sexual harassment policy in theory
on paper, but they don’t actually implement it. And there have
been rising numbers and reports of sexual harassment
among McDonald’s workers. And their response is
one that I don’t accept, which is, well, you know,
we could implement these for the restaurants that are
owned by our corporation, but most McDonald’s restaurants
are owned by franchisees. And because they’re franchisees,
we can’t tell them what to do. We can’t tell them, you know,
to give people $15 an hour. We can’t tell them
that they must follow these anti-sexual
harassment policies. And, again, my answer to that
is, what are you talking about? You tell them not to put
three pickles on a hamburger. They can only put one
pickle on a hamburger. So if you have the kind of power
to tell them how many pickles to put on a hamburger, you
certainly have the power to tell them, you know,
not to discriminate and retaliate against women or
victims of sexual harassment. ZAINAB SALBI: The
2018 election brought in another group of
groundbreaking women, including the polarizing trio– Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez,
Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. The three women combined have
received hundreds of threats. Senator Duckworth has
served as an advocate for women in
Congress and has been monitoring their freshman year. In June, representative
Rashida Tlaib read a threat she had received
in a Senate subcommittee. RASHIDA TLAIB: I was totally
excited and pleased when I heard about 49 Muslims
were killed and many– many more were wounded
in New Zealand. This is a great start. Let’s hope and pray
that it continues here in the good old USA. The only good Muslim
is a dead one. ZAINAB SALBI: Do
you think this is because they are
women, women of color, or there’s something
else going on? TAMMY DUCKWORTH: I
think it’s called politics of hate and isolation. And that’s what those who oppose
the work that they’re trying to do– those are the tactics they use. And so we must remain united. We must say, you know, personal
attacks are not acceptable. Death threats are
not acceptable. Terrible comments made based
on someone’s race, religion, gender identification,
all of that– those are not acceptable. Unfortunately, you know,
number one in doing all of this is our president. And, frankly, if you
oppose someone, oppose them based on the work that
they do, the legislation that they put forward,
the constituent services they perform. But I do think that those
who don’t want progress try to isolate the people that
they’re most threatened by. And I think they’re very
threatened by these very vocal young members of the
House of Representatives. [MUSIC PLAYING] ZAINAB SALBI: 2020 election
and there’s so many candidates on the Democratic Party.
TAMMY DUCKWORTH: There are. ZAINAB SALBI: So many women. Is there anybody you’re
particularly excited about? TAMMY DUCKWORTH: I’m
excited about everyone that’s in the race. But what I want is a
Midwesterner or someone from the center of the country
somewhere on the ticket or in the hunt as
long as possible. Because I don’t think
that, as a Democrat, that we win without talking
to the middle of the country. We can’t win without talking
to the folks in the mountain states, and you certainly
cannot win without talking to the industrial Midwest. ZAINAB SALBI: And of all the
candidates from the Midwest, is there anybody
you’re excited about? TAMMY DUCKWORTH:
Well, you know, I’ve already said that I’m
so excited that Amy Klobuchar is in the race. And, of course,
Pete Buttigieg is really tearing it up out there. So I want these folks to stay
in the race as long as possible. ZAINAB SALBI: Fair enough. Senator Duckworth serves
in a turbulent Congress. NANCY PELOSI: Trump is
goading us to impeach him. That’s what he’s doing. Every single day,
he’s just, like, taunting, taunting, taunting. ZAINAB SALBI: Divided over
whether to hold impeachment hearings for President Trump. MAXINE WATERS: We’re
going to have to do it. We’re going to have to impeach. I just wish it was
sooner than later. KEVIN MCCARTHY: I know they
want to impeach the president. I just don’t think
that’s the agenda that America wants to see. ZAINAB SALBI: To impeach
or not to impeach? TAMMY DUCKWORTH: I think we
need to gather more evidence. And I think we should
have the hearings. I think we should have access
to all of the evidence that’s out there. The House has to decide
whether or not to impeach. That’s not in the Senate. But they need to have
all the information. And for the White House to
continue blocking testimony from their former
White House counsel, from all of these folks, I
think, really is obstruction of justice in many ways. So I just don’t think all the
evidence is there right now. First and foremost, I think
the American people just need government to work for them. They just need us
to work together. They need the Senate to stop
being a legislative graveyard, which is where we
are right now where all this wonderful legislation
that’s passed in the House isn’t even getting brought
to the floor for a vote on here in the Senate. We need to pass an
infrastructure bill. We need to be able to look
at some sensible gun control legislation like universal
background checks– which, by the way, over 90%
of all Americans support. So it’s a bipartisan issue. Those are things we
need to be voting on. And let the investigations
move forward. And, you know, when
they get to a point where they have
all the evidence, they can decide in the House–
should we impeach or not? ZAINAB SALBI: Well, you
mentioned the gun control, so let’s go to gun control. Actually, recently, there
was a shooting in Virginia. It killed 12 people. So far in 2019, 150 people
were killed in mass shooting. Do you hold the NRA
responsible for that? TAMMY DUCKWORTH: Very much so. I think the NRA–
it’s funny, because I come from a family of marksmen. My father was an elite
shooting competitor and actually was a judge at
World Shooting Championships and a lifetime
member of the NRA. ZAINAB SALBI: Wow. TAMMY DUCKWORTH: But NRA drifted
very far away from the NRA that he was a member
of in the 70s. Back then, they actually
were proponents for a universal background check. They were proponents for
universal training and ID card for firearm
owners, all of that. Ever since the gun
manufacturers and the ammunition manufacturers have
taken over the NRA, it’s really become a front
for gun manufacturers and commercial entities
that want to make money off of selling guns and bullets. And I think that
that’s, you know, not helping the American people. ZAINAB SALBI: Senator
Duckworth made a career out of serving the American people,
and has made American history in the process. She is the first Congresswoman
born in Thailand, the first disabled woman
elected to Congress, and the first senator to
give birth while in office. She and her husband
welcomed their second child when the senator turned
50, and the senator made history by
bringing the baby girl on to the Senate floor to vote. It was the first time
that has happened in the 229-year
history of Congress. Your personal life has
been amazing, actually. And, I mean,
honestly, it’s deep. The incentive is not trying
to be the first, but– TAMMY DUCKWORTH: I
wasn’t trying to do that. Like, you were the first female
double amputee from Iraq– I wasn’t trying. I think in my early life
before I was wounded, it was just about being
grateful for the opportunity. And I remember when the chance
came for me to fly helicopters, I thought, all it takes– all they’re asking
me to do is to take an aptitude test to see if I’m
good at flying helicopters. So what’s there to lose? I might as well take the test. And then once I was
wounded, every day that I woke up since
the day I was wounded has been about gratitude– gratitude that I’m alive and
gratitude to my buddies who saved me. You know, they
thought I was dead. They thought they were
recovering a body. But they went back and risked
their lives to save me anyway. And so I don’t want them to
ever regret that decision. ZAINAB SALBI: I totally agree. Senator Duckworth, it’s
an honor to have you. Thank you so much. Really appreciate it. TAMMY DUCKWORTH: It’s
good to be on, thank you. [MUSIC PLAYING]

18 thoughts on “War vet Sen. Duckworth on Trump draft deferments: ‘I’m sorry, but it’s baloney’”

  1. Was the Constitution being trampled on when Obama was blowing Libya into pieces? If I get an answer to that, I may watch the entire interview.

  2. "At that time, no one had ever heard of the country." YOu and your self centered parents perhaps had not heard of it. Most conscientioous Americans knew a lot about Viet Nam. We had paid the war bills for France to keep Viet Nam as a colong in spite of direct appeals by the Bietnames people to our government to support their independence. Trump tell s lies everytime his mouth moves. I am of that era, and I was aa resister to that war on grounds of morality . Trump was then and is now an egocentric narcissist who has never cared about our own country much less any other.

  3. Trump is embarrassment to the country. The world is laughing at us while our enemies are taking advantage of us. He is already ranked last of all presidents ranked by greatness by historians lol

  4. No one with a functioning brain in this century believes the story about bone spurs preventing anyone from serving our country, especially during World War II not any war after that. NO ONE WITH A FUNCTIONING BRAIN BELIEVES THAT.

  5. DEPORTING VETERANS OF OUR UNITED STATES IS ONE OF THE DISGUSTING THINGS ORDERED UNDER THIS ADMINISTRATION. DEPLORABLE.

  6. Yawn.. Another Yahoo Anti-Trump, Anti-American hit piece,, ,brought to you by their new muslim CEO after he slapped Marissa on the fanny and sent her on her way…

  7. Please stop calling women vets “war veterans”. They’re not! They don’t fight! I have been on five combat deployments and I have yet to see a single woman next to me or any of us getting at the enemy!

  8. A woman commenting on the draft. How cute. How about she advocates to institute a draft for women and then she can criticize the President and his draft deferments.

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