Retired Gen. McChrystal: Sending troops to build wall could be seen as ‘misuse of power’

Retired Army General Stanley McChrystal criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Ann Coulter blasts Trump shutdown compromise: ‘We voted for Trump and got Jeb!’ MORE's threat to send troops to build a wall along the U.S. southern border if he doesn't get the funding he has requested.

“I worry that the military, which is doing the right things that they’re ordered to do, gets perceived, and our nation, gets perceived as misusing our power,” McChrystal told Hilll.TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on Friday.

“The military has the capability to do this but the military’s got a lot of other things it needs to do — if you want the military to go pick apples in Washington State, they could do that but that’s not why we built the military,” he added.

McChrystal argues that U.S. needs to control its borders, but the problem with sending the military to build the border wall is two-fold: First, the military is not designed to build physical barriers, and most importantly, such a move would send the wrong signal to America’s neighboring ally, Mexico.

“The perception that this is an invasion is not one I agree with and the idea that we are sending people to man the walls of the Alamo to the last man is not something I think is right,” he told Hill.TV.

President Trump on Tuesday claimed falsely that "a lot of the wall" has already been built, and warned that he would send the military to build the “remaining sections.”

Trump’s tweet came hours before his meeting with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Trump blasts Pelosi for wanting to leave country during shutdown The Senate should host the State of the Union MORE and House Democratic leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Senate to take up Trump's border-immigration plan next week MORE over how to prevent a partial government shutdown before December 22.

Instead, the televised meeting quickly devolved into a debate over Trump’s border wall and his $5 billion demand to help fund it.

Trump pledged to shut down the government if he couldn't get funding for a wall along the southern border, saying he would be willing to take the blame for such an action. 

Since the fiery meeting, House Republicans have struggled to come up with a strategy to put together a bill needed to fund Trump's border wall.

McChrystal was the commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan but was asked to resign in 2010 over critical comments he made about the Obama administration in a media report.

—Tess Bonn