Media Call Out Donald Trump's Sequester Flip-Flop

Media Call Out Donald Trump's Sequester Flip-Flop

Trump Claimed Sequestration Was "Over-Exaggerated" In 2013

››› ››› ALEX MORASH

Media are calling out Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for flip-flopping on the 2013 federal spending sequester after Trump pledged to “eliminate the defense sequester” and increase military spending during a September 7 speech. Back in 2013, Trump supported the congressionally imposed sequester, saying “Frankly, this is a very minor amount of the cuts that have to be made.”

Trump Calls To “Eliminate The Defense Sequester” And Increase Military Spending

Wash. Post: Trump Announces Plan To “Full Eliminate The Defense Sequester” And Increase Military Spending “After Months Of Isolationist Talk.” The Washington Post reported that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called for Congress to increase military spending in a September 7 speech, saying “I will ask Congress to fully eliminate the defense sequester.” The Post noted that Trump claimed the military had been “depleted” due to Congress capping military spending during the sequester and “reversed his previous support for budget sequestration.” The change marked “a sharp nod to the conservative foreign policy establishment,” according to the September 7 article:

“As soon as I take office, I will ask congress to fully eliminate the defense sequester and will submit a new budget to rebuild our military. It is so depleted. We will rebuild our military,” Trump said Wednesday during a speech at the Union League in Philadelphia. “This will increase certainty in the defense community as to funding and will allow military leaders to plan for our future defense needs.”

Trump’s address Wednesday represented his most substantive and comprehensive plan on national security to date — part of an ongoing effort to assuage doubts that he lacks a sufficient understanding of policy issues to assume the presidency. Reading from prepared remarks, Trump spoke about modernizing the military’s equipment and enhancing the size of armed services personnel.

The GOP nominee also notably reversed his previous support for budget sequestration, which he suggested in the past had not gone enough. His direct appeal to expand spending also upended his previous assertions that the military could strengthen its core functions with less money, though he provided no pricetag for his proposals nor a clear means to pay for them. [The Washington Post, 9/7/16]

Media Highlight That Trump’s Call To Increase Military Spending “Sits In Stark Contrast” To Statements On His Website Claiming Cuts Didn’t Go Far Enough

MSNBC’s Tamron Hall: Trump’s Website Says Sequester Didn't “Go Far Enough” Which Is “Opposite” Of What He’s Saying Now. On the September 7 edition of MSNBC’s MSNBC Live, Tamron Hall explained that Trump’s recent call “for an end to the sequester that’s limiting military spending” is “opposite” of statements on his current website which say “the budget cuts or the sequester don’t go far enough.” Hall also played audio of a 2013 interview with Trump in which he said, “I think the cuts are not going to be steep” and “I think you are going to have to do a lot more cutting.” [MSNBC, MSNBC Live, 9/7/16]

Chicago Tribune: Trump’s Speech Sends “Mixed Signals” On Military Spending, And His Position On The Sequester Is “Even More Murky.” The Chicago Tribune reported that Trump’s “plan to boost military spending” is sending “mixed signals.” The Tribune explained that “Trump has often complained that U.S. forces are not large enough or well-equipped” but “[h]is position on the sequester has been ... murky,” given that in the past he has supported the cuts and “even describ[ed] them as too small.” [Chicago Tribune, 9/7/16]

CNN: Trump Called On Congress To “Reverse Cuts To Defense Spending” That He Once Called “Minor.” CNN.com noted that Trumpwants “Congress to reverse cuts to defense spending enacted under the 2013 budget sequester” which “sits in stark contrast to his initial reaction to the sequester’s across-the-board cuts, which [he] downplayed.” The report noted that in February 2013, Trump told Fox News, "It's a very small percentage of the cuts that should be made. And I think, really, it's being over-exaggerated," and, "Frankly, this is a very minor amount of the cuts that have to be made, ultimately, and a lot of people are saying that." [CNN.com, 9/7/16]

NBC Nightly News’ Bradd Jaffy Compares Trump’s Speech To What’s On His Website. Bradd Jaffy of NBC Nightly News took to Twitter to show glaring differences between Trump’s planned speech calling on Congress to increase defense spending and Trump’s website, which states that the sequester “does not go far enough and Congress must reduce spending further”:

[Twitter, 9/7/16]

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