On this weekend’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday,” President Donald Trump said he opposed renaming military bases that were named for Confederate leaders.
Partial transcript as follows:
WALLACE: This week you said that Black Lives Matter and the Confederate flag are both matters, issues of freedom of speech.
WALLACE: But in the case of the Confederate flag, there are a lot of people who say these were traitors who split from this country, fought this country in large part to preserve slavery. Is the Confederate flag offensive?
TRUMP: It depends on who you’re talking about, when you’re talking about. When people – when people proudly have their Confederate flags, they’re not talking about racism. They love their flag, it represents the south, they like the south. People right now like the south. I’d say it’s freedom of, of, of many things, but it’s freedom of speech.
WALLACE: So you’re not offended by it?
TRUMP: Well, I’m not offended either by Black Lives Matter. That’s freedom of speech. And you know, the whole thing with cancel culture, we can’t cancel our whole history. We can’t forget that the north and the south fought. We have to remember that, otherwise we’ll end up fighting again. You can’t just cancel all…
WALLACE: But let me ask you this when it gets to be more than just cancel – well, maybe this is cancel culture. The National Defense Authorization Act, the NDAA, you have threatened to veto it because in the bill, and this was supported by Republicans as well as Democrats, it would rename army bases named for Confederate generals. Now this is a bill that funds military operations, it gives soldiers a pay raise.
WALLACE: You’re going to veto that?
TRUMP: No, because they’ll get their pay raise. Hey, look, don’t tell me this. I got soldiers the biggest pay raises in the history of our military.
TRUMP: I got soldiers brand new equipment, brand new jets, brand new rockets, brand new – $2.5 trillion. I did more for the military than any president that’s ever had this office.
WALLACE: But you’re going to veto this bill?
TRUMP: Because I think that Fort Bragg, Fort Robert E. Lee, all of these forts that have been named that way for a long time, decades and decades…
WALLACE: But the military says they’re for this.
TRUMP: …excuse me, excuse me. I don’t care what the military says. I do – I’m supposed to make the decision. Fort Bragg is a big deal. We won two World Wars, nobody even knows General Bragg. We won two World Wars. Go to that community where Fort Bragg is, in a great state, I love that state, go to the community, say how do you like the idea of renaming Fort Bragg, and then what are we going to name it?
We’re going to name it after the Reverend Al Sharpton? What are you going to name it, Chris, tell me what you’re going to name it? So there’s a whole thing here. We won two World Wars, two World Wars, beautiful World Wars that were vicious and horrible, and we won them out of Fort Bragg, we won out of all of these forts that now they want to throw those names away.
And, no, I’m against that, and you know what, most other people are. And I even – I don’t believe in polls because I see the fakest polls I’ve ever seen, but that poll is a 64 percent thing, which actually surprised me. We won World Wars out of these military bases. No, I’m not going to go changing them, I’m not going to go changing them.
WALLACE: So you’ll veto them?
TRUMP: I might. Yeah, I might.
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