Donald Trump on Homeland Security
2016 Republican incumbent President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President
You see what I've done. I've rebuilt--2.5 trillion and you think that was easy getting that money from Democrats? Because they don't like the military.
In 2018, Trump signed the VA Mission Act, which expanded and changed the Choice program. Trump has told this lie more than 150 times.
"We should charge them rent," Trump said of South Korea. We should make them pay for our soldiers. We should make the money off everything." Trump said U.S. troops and defense systems in South Korea did not make Americans safer. He said he could eliminate the nuclear threat on the peninsula simply by striking a deal with North Korean dictator Kim Jun Un. " This is all about leader versus leader. Man versus man. Kim versus me, he said."
Trump: I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen. There's nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, "We have information on your opponent." Oh, I think I'd want to hear it. It's not an interference. They have information. I think I'd take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI. The FBI doesn't have enough agents to take care of it, but you go and talk honestly to congressmen. They all do it; they always have.
As part of our military build-up, the US is developing a state-of-the-art Missile Defense System.
Decades ago the United States entered into a treaty with Russia in which we agreed to limit and reduce our missile capabilities. While we followed the agreement to the letter, Russia repeatedly violated its terms. That is why I announced that the United States is officially withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty.
Perhaps we can negotiate a different agreement, adding China and others, or perhaps we can't--in which case, we will outspend and out-innovate all others by far.
Of course, Trump also included a plug for his latest initiative, creating a Space Force as a sixth branch of the armed services. "That's very exciting. We need it. That's the new frontier. And I'm not just talking about sending rockets to the moon. I'm talking about militarily, that's where it's at."
For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.
As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression. Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet.
But our partners must meet their financial obligations. And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that. We expect our partners, whether in NATO, in the Middle East, or the Pacific--to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the cost. We will respect historic institutions, but we will also respect the sovereign rights of nations.
My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America. But we know that America is better off, when there is less conflict--not more.
I am sending the Congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the Defense sequester, and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.
My budget will also increase funding for our veterans. Our veterans have delivered for this Nation--and now we must deliver for them.
Trump said, "I am the first one that would like to see nobody have nukes, but we're never going to fall behind any country, even if it's a friendly country. It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we're going to be at the top of the pack."
Russia has 7,000 warheads and the United States, 6,800. The New START treaty between the US and Russia requires that by February 5, 2018, both countries limit their arsenals of strategic nuclear weapons to 800 ICBMs for 10 years. Trump called New START "a one-sided deal."
In a tweet that offered no details, Trump said, "The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes."
During the campaign, Trump talked in one debate about the need to modernize the country's infrastructure of nuclear weaponry, saying the US is falling behind.
Trump's tweet came shortly after Putin, during a defense ministry meeting, said, "We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defense systems."
The US share is calculated on the basis of GDP--and adjusted regularly. Currently that's 22%, compared to about 15% for Germany, 11% for France, 10% for the UK, 8% for Italy, 7% for Canada, and so forth--based on NATO's guideline, established in 2006, that defense expenditures should amount to 2% of each country's GDP. The median spending in 2015 is just 1.18% of GDP, compared to 3.7% for the US, Just four other countries currently exceed the 2% guideline.
However, on INDIRECT funding, NATO says, "The volume of the US defense expenditure effectively represents 73% of the defense spending of the Alliance."
In short, direct funding of NATO is allocated on a reasonable formula, with the US paying just 22% of the cost. But indirect funding is a different issue, with U.S. defense spending far exceeding the spending of other NATO members.
CLINTON: I want to reassure our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere that we have mutual defense treaties and we will honor them. It is essential that America's word be good. On behalf of a majority of the American people, I want to say that our word is good.
TRUMP: And as far as Japan is concerned, I want to help all of our allies, but we are losing billions and billions of dollars. We cannot be the policemen of the world.
"NATO was set up when we were a richer country," Trump said. "We're not a rich country. We're borrowing, we're borrowing all of this money."
But you do know, editorial writer Charles Lane said, that South Korea and Japan pay half of the administrative cost of keeping the American military in those countries, right?
"Fifty percent?" Trump asked.
"Yeah," Lane confirmed.
"Why isn't it one hundred percent?"
TRUMP: We can no longer defend all of these countries, Japan, Germany, South Korea. You order televisions, you order almost anything, you're getting it from these countries. They are making a fortune. We defend all of these countries for peanuts. You talk about budgets. We have to start getting reimbursed for taking care of the military services for all of these countries.
It's no wonder nobody respects us. It's no surprise that we never win. Spending money on our military is also smart business. Who do people think build our airplanes and ships, and all the equipment that our troops should have? American workers, that's who.
Over the years Trump has been opposed to gay marriage and in favor of gays serving in the military. He has supported abortion rights and then opposed them.
It came out recently they have equipment that is 30 years old. They don't know if it worked. And I thought it was horrible when it was broadcast on television, because boy, does that send signals to Putin and all of the other people that look at us and they say, "That is a group of people, and that is a nation that truly has no clue. They don't know what they're doing."
The reason conservatives support a strong and well-funded military is because they know that all freedoms flow from national security. That's why we need a new president. It's also why we need to get tough in foreign policy to deal with the threats and challenges America faces from rival and enemy nations.
One book that I would suggest to you, because it is valuable for business and managerial strategies, is "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu. This was apparently written in the sixth century BC and is a study of military strategy. It may sound like an unusual business school recommendation, but believe me, it isn't. It's valuable and worth your time.
By comparison, another famed book is Machiavelli's The Prince, which is more about political conflict and qualities necessary for leadership than war or business, but its emphasis on power becomes a negative factor. Ethics and integrity seem to get lost somewhere in the shuffle, and therefore the word Machiavellian has become a pejorative term. It's a better use of your time to read "The Art of War."
That is the Trump way of using focus to solve problems. Do not think about the problem in terms of "How did it happen?" or "It is impossible to solve." Instead, accept the challenge. Realize that you have what it takes to overcome the challenge. Then look for solutions. Ask experts for advice. Start testing possible solutions. If one idea fails, go to the next one and the next until you succeed.
Focus and discipline are habits, skills that everyone can learn. I was the most undisciplined kid you could ever imagine. My parents could not handle me so they sent me off to a military school at a young age, where I learned discipline. Without this training, I never would have become who I am today.
You can’t pursue forward military and foreign-policy objectives on a backward military budget. I’m not advocating that America go forth and police the world. I’m just saying that if we’re going to use our military power abroad, we had better make sure that power is ready to be used.
[We should] prepare for the possibility of attack, to avoid total panic in case an attack does occur. Our adversaries understand that if they are able to blindside us they will be much more likely to succeed in blackmailing us.
The vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home. We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany and all over the world.
It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur. Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values.
We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America--we cannot allow our Nation to become a sanctuary for extremists. That is why my Administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our Nation safe--and to keep out those who would do us harm.
CRUZ: I think most people know exactly what New York values are. There are many wonderful working men and women in the state of New York. But everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal or pro-abortion or pro- gay-marriage, focus around money and the media. Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan. I'm just saying.
TRUMP: When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on earth could have handled more beautifully than New York. You had two 110-story buildings come crashing down. Thousands of people killed, and the cleanup started the next day, and it was the most horrific cleanup. We rebuilt downtown Manhattan, and everybody in the world watched and everybody in the world loved New York and loved New Yorkers.
When asked about NSA metadata collection, Trump replied, "Well, I tend to err on the side of security. When you have people that are beheading if you're a Christian and frankly for lots of other reasons, when you have the world looking at us and would like to destroy us as quickly as possible, I err on the side of security, and some people like that, frankly, and some people don't like that. And I'm not just saying that since the Paris [attack], I'm saying for quite some time. I assume when I pick up my telephone people are listening to my conversations anyway, if you want to know the truth. It's pretty sad commentary, but I err on the side of security," said Trump.
Hewitt then asked, "Alright, so you would be in favor of restoring the Patriot Act?"
"I think that would be fine. As far as I'm concerned, that would be fine," Trump responded.
TRUMP: Well, you know, we could be politically correct, if you want. But, certainly, are you trying to say we don't have a problem? We do have a problem with radical Muslims. As I have already said; I have tremendous people that I know that are Muslims.
In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield--including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi.
So today, I am keeping another promise. I just signed an order to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay.
I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qa'ida, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists--wherever we chase them down.
A: The Muslim ban is something that in some form has morphed into an extreme vetting from certain areas of the world. We are going to areas like Syria where they're coming in by the tens of thousands because of Obama, and Clinton wants to allow a 550% increase. People are coming into our country & we have no idea who they are, where they are from. This is going to be the greatest Trojan Horse of all time. I believe in building safe zones. I believe in having other people pay for them, as an example, the Gulf states, who are not carrying their weight, but they have nothing but money, and take care of people. I don't want to have, with all the problems this country has and you see going on, hundreds of thousands of people coming in from Syria when we know nothing about them. We know nothing about their values and we know nothing about their love for our country.
A: You're right about Islamophobia, and that's a shame. Whether we like it or not, and we could be very politically correct, there is a problem. And we have to be sure that Muslims come in and report when they see something going on. When they see hatred going on, they have to report it.
TRUMP: I mean a lot of them.
Q: Do you want to clarify the comment?
TRUMP: I've been watching the [other candidates in the] debate today. And they're talking about radical Islamic terrorism. But I will tell you this. There's tremendous hatred. And I will stick with exactly what I said.
Sen. Marco RUBIO: I know that a lot of people find appeal in the things Donald says because he says what people wish they could say. The problem is, presidents can't just say anything they want. It has consequences, here and around the world.
TRUMP: Marco talks about consequences. Well, we've had a lot of consequences, including airplanes flying into the World Trade Center. I don't want to be so politically correct. I like to solve problems. We have a serious, serious problem of hate. There is tremendous hate. Where large portions of a group of people, Islam, large portions want to use very, very harsh means.
Trump then mused about one of the Obama administration's reasons for trying to shut the prison down: "Here's the thing I didn't understand," he said. "We spend $40 million a month on maintaining this place? Now, think of it--$40 million a month! What do we have left in there, like, a hundred people, or something? And we're spending $40 million? I would guarantee you I could do it for a tiny, tiny fraction. I don't mean $39 million. I mean maybe $5 million, maybe $3 million. Maybe, like, peanuts."
CRUZ: Well, under the definition of torture, no, it's not.
Q: As president, would you bring it back?
CRUZ: I would not bring it back in any sort of widespread use.
Q: Mr. Trump, you said not only does torture work, but that you'd bring it back.
TRUMP: In the Middle East, we have people chopping the heads off Christians. We have things that we have never seen before. Not since medieval times have people seen what's going on. I would bring back waterboarding and I'd bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.
Q: Gov. Bush, Congress has passed laws banning the use of waterboarding by the military and the CIA. Would you want Congress to change that if you're elected president?
BUSH: No, I wouldn't. I think where we stand is the appropriate place. But what we need to do is to make sure that we expand our intelligence capabilities.
TRUMP: Well, we have to be strong. You know, they don't use waterboarding over there; they use chopping off people's heads. They use drowning people. I don't know if you've seen with the cages, where they put people in cages and they drown them in the ocean and they lift out the cage. And we're talking about waterboarding. I would bring it back, yes. I think waterboarding is peanuts compared to what they'd do to us, what they're doing to us, what they did to James Foley when they chopped off his head. That's a whole different level and I would absolutely bring back interrogation and strong interrogation.
TRUMP: Well, I don't want to close mosques; I want mosques surveilled. And all I would do, certainly there are certain hot spots and everybody knows they're hot spots. Good material was coming out of those mosques. We were learning a lot. And they were stopping problems and potential problems by learning what was happening. I don't want to close up mosques but things have to happen where, you have got to use strong measures or you're going to see buildings coming down all over New York City and elsewhere.
Trump said the country is in trouble and if he wins the presidency he would defeat ISIS and stop Islamic terrorists. He said he would reduce the federal budget deficit and build a fence on the nation's southern border to stop illegal immigration, adding, "I mean seriously securing" the border.
To begin with, I’m not laughing at missile defense, and I never have. The question isn’t whether or not such a defense can be built. The question is whether it is the right defense for our times. And I believe the answer is, largely, no. In this age of miniaturization, our real threat is not going to be flying in on a missile. It’s going to be delivered in a van, or a suitcase, or a fire-hydrant-sized canister.
TRUMP: It was a fake statement. I never made those statements. They were never made by me. They said I stood over the grave of soldiers killed many years ago and I said they were suckers. I never made that.
Q: Especially John McCain?
TRUMP: I was never a fan of John McCain. I never thought he treated our vets well, he didn't do the job. I was never a fan of his. But everybody knows that, and I said it to his face.
Q: You said he's not a war hero.
TRUMP: I have done so much for our vets and for our military. I rebuilt our military. Our military, when I came into this great office, our military was depleted. It was in the worst shape it was in probably ever. It was depleted. The planes were old and broken, the ships, everything.
TRUMP: I don't care what the military says. I'm supposed to make the decision. Fort Bragg is a big deal. What are we going to name it? We're going to name it after the Reverend Al Sharpton? We won two World Wars out of all of these forts that now they want to throw those names away.
All Americans deserve accountability and respect--and that is what we are giving them. So tonight, I call on the Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers--and to remove Federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.
A: The numbers are staggering, hard to believe. At the same time, we want to keep the court system within the military. The best thing we can do is set up a court system within the military. Right now, the court system practically doesn't exist. It takes too long.
The taxpayers pay more than $150 billion a year for the VA, and what do we get for that? Right now, the VA is being run by people who don't know what they're doing. They're getting more money from the government than ever before and yet the care gets worse. The list of men and women waiting for care is growing and their wait times are longer. How can the VA possibly be so inefficient? We need to put people in charge who know how to run big operations. We have to get the best managers and give them the power, the money, and the tools to get the job done. We owe our veterans nothing less.
A: One of the things I would do is fix the hospitals. What I'm going to do is make sure that they will be able to go out and use private doctors and we will pay the private doctors. We're going to do a bit of a free market thing so that veterans can get immediate service and good treatment.
I agreed. I thought it would be fun, and I knew it was important. Mayor Giuliani was pledging the support of the city. I put up money; others matched it. I always knew there was a military out there, but I had no idea such high quality people led it. This is something I got to know, and know very well, over the next few months.
In 1968, Donald Trump's last year at Penn, a small group occupied a building and drove away recruiters for the Central Intelligence Agency. Donald Trump did not join in the protests, sign petitions, or otherwise agitate the power of the "establishment."
Although he personally opposed the war, Trump would later say he was so intently focused on his future in business that he was not even aware of the campus protests. In light of Trump's political disengagement, you might conclude that he was more like a college man of the fifties than the sixties.
"I actually got lucky because I had a very high draft number," he would tell a TV interviewer in 2011. "I'll never forget, that was an amazing period of time in my life." In fact the lottery was not a factor in his experience. It didn't occur until fourteen months after he received his medical exemption, and eighteen months after he'd left Penn.
Nevertheless he would recall, "I was going to the Wharton School of Finance, and I was watching as they did the draft numbers." When the subject came up in conversation in 2014, he repeated the draft number story. But when offered the chance to work through the details, he seized it. Yes, he agreed, if the first lottery took place in 1969, he must have been mistaken about living in Philadelphia. And the gap between his graduation from Penn and the lottery could be explained by a medical deferment.
For the previous four years, Trump had avoided the draft -- and the possibility of being sent to fight in the Vietnam War -- by obtaining four separate deferments so he could study at Fordham University and the University of Pennsylvania. With his diploma in hand and his college days over, he was suddenly vulnerable to conscription.
Trump's exposure to the draft, however, didn't last long. In September 1968, he reported for an armed forces physical examination and was medically disqualified.
In recent days, Trump and his campaign have said that he received the medical deferment because he had bone spurs in his feet. But rather than clear up all questions about why he did not serve in the military during the Vietnam era, they have given shifting accounts that are at odds with the few remaining documents in his Selective Service file. Trump has given limited information about the nature of his medical ailment from 1968 that left him classified as "1-Y," or unqualified for duty except in the case of a national emergency.
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2024 Republican Presidential Candidates:
Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND)
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
Larry Elder (R-CA;withdrew)
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-FL;withdrew)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Perry Johnson (R-IL)
Mayor Steve Laffey (R-RI)
Former V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN;withdrew)
Vivek Ramaswamy (R-OH)
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Secy. Corey Stapleton (R-MT)
Mayor Francis Suarez (R-FL;withdrew)
Former Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
2024 Democratic and 3rd-party primary candidates:
Pres. Joe Biden (D-DE)
V.P.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I-NY)
Chase Oliver (L-GA)
Rep.Dean Phillips (D-MN)
Jill Stein (Green)
Cornel West (Green Party)
Kanye West (Birthday Party)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
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