July 1, 2020/Press

As Tillis Refuses to Act, North Carolina Veterans Criticize Trump Over Russia Bounties

Senator Tillis continues to refuse to hold this administration accountable for what they knew and when around Russia’s reported bounties on U.S. troops, even as more reports add detail to this growing scandal and President Trump tries to downplay it.

Now, veterans across the country – including in North Carolina – are turning their back on the President and his party, according to the Associated Press, over this scandal. “I don’t think he cares about troops at all,” One North Carolina veteran and former Republican legislator said, adding that it’s “despicable.” The same veteran “has withdrawn from the Republican Party.”

Senator Tillis has repeatedly stood silent as President Trump has threatened our military communities. After Tillis flip flopped on the emergency declaration, one military family asked him, “How can we trust you?

“North Carolinians are waiting for Senator Tillis to show one ounce of outrage over our troops being targeted in a bounty system and the president’s repeated attempts to just look the other way,” NCDP spokesperson Robert Howard said. “Will Senator Tillis ever hold this administration accountable, or will he again show no spine even as our president’s inaction puts our service members in harm’s way?”


Associated Press: Russian bounties further strain Trump’s bond with veterans
By Steve Peoples and Sarah Blake Morgan
July 1, 2020

Key Points:

  • They didn’t like it when then-candidate Donald Trump criticized John McCain for being captured in combat. They were angrier when Trump, as commander in chief, abandoned Kurdish allies in the Middle East. And they were upset again last month when he threatened to deploy troops against American protesters.
  • Trump’s relationship with the nation’s military community has been frequently strained. But just four months before the November election, reports that he either ignored, or was unaware of, a Russian plot to kill U.S. troops could intensify the tension and create new political risks.
  • “I don’t think he cares about troops at all,” said Shawn LeMond, a Navy veteran who served his country in the Middle East and then his state of North Carolina as a Republican legislator. “If he didn’t know about Russia, it’s because he didn’t do his damn homework. And that’s despicable.”
  • After sitting out the 2016 election, LeMond has withdrawn from the Republican Party and plans to vote for Trump’s Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, this fall.
  • …there was a significant outcry this week from a collection of retired servicemen, elected officials in both parties and families of fallen soldiers who have lost confidence in the president’s commitment to the troops. That’s just four weeks after Trump’s former defense secretary James Mattis, a Marine general, described the president as a threat to the Constitution.
  • Any erosion in Trump’s support from the national security community, long a pillar of the GOP base, could damage his reelection prospects, particularly in swing states with large concentrations of veterans, including Florida, Virginia, Texas and North Carolina.