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Vets slam Trump’s ‘obscene’ border stunt that could cost $1 billion

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Washington, February 8, 2019
Before the midterm elections, Trump needlessly deployed thousands of U.S. troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to try to rally his racist base against immigrants. Even though the ploy didn’t work, Trump still kept it up — and now, what started as a racist campaign stunt could end up costing taxpayers more than $1 billion, the Washington Post reports.
Before the midterm elections, Trump needlessly deployed thousands of U.S. troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to try to rally his racist base against immigrants. Even though the ploy didn’t work, Trump still kept it up — and now, what started as a racist campaign stunt could end up costing taxpayers more than $1 billion, the Washington Post reports.

The nakedly partisan use of American troops, in addition to the staggering price tag, is enraging veterans and members of Congress.

“It is simply obscene that Trump is wasting the time, energy, and money that could be spent defending us against real threats, and force readiness to face unforeseen threats, for his racist stunts,” Will Fischer, a veteran and director of government relations at the advocacy group VoteVets, told Shareblue Media.

“The reason that voters increasingly say they will not vote for him again is because of his absolute mismanagement — indeed, malmanagement — of our military,” Fischer added.

“It is outrageous that President Trump is sending thousands of active-duty personnel back to the border to shovel manure, change tires and lay concertina wire,” Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD), vice-chair of the House Armed Services Committee and a 30-year combat veteran, said in a statement.

Trump used racist rhetoric to falsely claim that immigrants are invading, and even “infesting,” the United States in order to justify sending roughly 8,000 troops to the southern border. It was a clear attempt to stir up anti-immigrant animosity among the Republican base and boost voter turnout in the midterms.

While the number of troops has been reduced somewhat, it still remains unacceptably high. The $1 billion price tag, which the Post arrived at from data released by the Department of Defense and other analyses, assumes no major changes to the current level of 4,300 troops at the southern border.

The misuse of military resources and disrespect of our troops couldn’t be more obvious. Some of those troops spent their Thanksgiving holiday away from their families in order to shovel horse manure and perform other menial tasks.

One Democratic governor of a border state recently said she has had enough of Trump’s fake crisis.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced earlier this week that she is removing most National Guard troops from the border, lambasting Trump’s “charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops.”

Trump continues to pretend there is a crisis at the border as he begs Congress to spend $5.7 billion on a border wall. So far, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have unequivocally rejected Trump’s demand.

Trump hasn’t been able to get money for the wall — but he has still managed to waste $1 billion on his fake border crisis by shamefully misusing the women and men of the U.S. military as political props.

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