(USA Features) Former President Donald Trump had hard words for Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley on Friday, following testimony the top-ranking Army officer gave to the House earlier in the week indicating support for critical race theory.
“General Milley – I watched his statements and it was pathetic,” Trump told Newsmax TV in an interview Friday morning.
“I watched the statements of some others – your head of the Navy. It was pathetic,” he continued.
“They didn’t talk that way when I was around, I can tell you. They didn’t talk that way or I would have gotten rid of them in two minutes. In particular Navy and Milley, just sad, pathetic statements,” Trump added.
In addition to Milley, Trump was referencing Navy Secretary Thomas Harker and Naval Operations Chief Admiral Michael Gilday, both of whom defended recommending critical race theory materials to officers and enlisted personnel during testimony.
Trump nominated Milley to his four-year post in December 2018; he was confirmed the following July.
In his comments to the House Armed Services Committee, Milley defended CRT, which critics say teaches that the U.S. is systemically racist thanks to white-dominated institutions, adding that U.S. military recruits “open-minded and be widely read.”
“What is wrong with understanding – having some situational understanding – about the country for which we are here to defend?” Milley said, pushing back against Republican lawmakers who grilled him on the topic.
“And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned and noncommissioned officers, of being, ‘woke’ or something else, because we’re studying some theories that are out there,” he also said.
Republican lawmakers fired back following Milley’s testimony.
“I’ve heard directly from numerous concerned parents, cadets, soldiers, and veterans about West Point hosting Dr. Carol Anderson — who has called the Republican Party’s platform white nationalism — to lecture about ‘whiteness and white rage’ and teaching CRT. As a combat vet, I can tell you this is divisive to unit cohesion,” Waltz, a former Green Beret officer who is currently serving with the Florida Army National Guard, told the Washington Examiner.
Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., who confronted Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday last week for putting Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be an Antiracist” on a “professional reading program” reading list, was also upset with Milley’s lecturing.
“I served in the Navy with Sailors from all backgrounds, and we all shared a belief in the goodness of America and our Constitution. In other words, service members are very diverse and very anti-woke,” Banks said.
“The most ridiculous assertion Milley made was that Republicans are attacking rank and file service members for being woke,” Banks continued.
“The opposite is true — we’re defending service members from indoctrination by woke political leaders.”