In an interview with Fox & Friends Tuesday morning, President Trump discussed his call for increased military spending and addressed criticism from some on the right that he’s not increasing the military budget enough.
Responding to criticism from Senator John McCain (R-AZ) that his military budget still is not large enough, Trump said, “We’re going to spend a lot more money on the military. We really have to. We have no choice. A lot of people think it’s a tremendous amount of money. It could actually be $30 billion more than that. We’re going to upgrade our military very substantially.”
“Remember that I also am going to get involved in negotiating,” the president continued. “We have many planes, and boats, and ships and everything that we are spending too much money individually on… We saved $700 million-plus on the F-35 after I got involved, and I have to tell you, Lockheed was terrific, but we saved a lot of money on airplanes, and that number is going to increase very substantially as we keep going.”
Trump suggested long-overdue debts from other countries could fund some of the U.S. military upgrades.
“We’re going to be doing things having to do with other countries because we’re treated very, very unfairly,” he said. “When we help them, even militarily, we’re going to ask for a form of reimbursement, which right now we have countries where we’re taking care of their military, we’re not being reimbursed, and they’re wealthy countries.”
He said border security would also be a major topic, stressing the importance of “getting the bad ones out, the bad people – gang members, drug lords, and in some cases murderers.” This was a subject where Trump felt his administration’s ability to communicate with the public has been lacking.
“Maybe it’s my fault,” he said. “But you know, when they show people being taken out, these are people that are – we’re looking at the bad ones, and I said that from Day One. I said from the day I’m president, we’re getting rid of the bad ones, and a lot of people understand it. I can tell you, the communities where we’re removing people that are really trouble, and really frightening to a lot of the people that live there, those communities are very, very happy.”
Trump predicted that improvements to our national security, among other intended achievements, will ameliorate the criticism directed at him.
“When I create jobs, when I create a healthcare plan that works – as opposed to Obamacare, which does not work – when we do the kind of things, when we get rid of a lot of bad players, really bad players, that we’re doing right now on the border – people are loving what General Kelly is doing, I will tell you – I think that will change,” he predicted, referring to Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly.