The incoming Democratic Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is not holding back about what he thinks regarding the deployment of active-duty service members to the southern border, which was in response to large migrant caravans trying to reach the United States.
“The reports that President Trump is planning to withdraw some of the troops he sent to the border two weeks ago indicate just how empty, demagogic and racially motivated this political stunt was,” said Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash) in a statement.
“It appears to be an admission that there was no justification for the mission in the first place. It was not a respectful use of our military to take service members away from their duties and send them to the border as politicized props, and President Trump should not have done it,” he added.
Smith has been strongly opposed to the border deployment, saying President Donald Trump is using the migrants in Central America as a scapegoat and a distraction.
“So what does [Trump] want to do? He wants distract you and scare you, as your previous guest said, by imagining an invasion coming from our southern border,” Smith said earlier this month on MSNBC.
Smith’s statement was in response to reports that troops might be sent home as early as this week. The military has denied those reports.
“We are continually assessing our resources and refining requirements in close coordination with DHS,” U.S. Army North said in a press release. “We may shift some forces to other areas of the border to engineering support missions in California and other areas. No specific timeline for redeployment has been determined. We will provide more details as they become available.”
Secretary of Defense James Mattis has previously denied that the deployment is a political stunt.
“The support that we provide to the secretary for homeland security is practical support based on the request from the commissioner of Customs and Border Police,” he said. “So we don’t do stunts in this department.”
Here's the video of Mattis brushing off the criticism of the troop deployment to the southern border: "We don’t do stunts in this department." pic.twitter.com/ZwfI5vXZVu— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) November 1, 2018