Trump says he 'might' veto defense bill over removing Confederate base names

Trump says he 'might' veto defense bill over removing Confederate base names
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE said Sunday that he “might” veto a defense spending bill because of its inclusion of a provision to remove the names of Confederate leaders from Army bases. 

“I might,” Trump told Fox News's Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceTrump adviser Jason Miller: Biden running mate pick 'his political living will' Sunday shows - Stimulus debate dominates Bass: 'Lesson learned' on 2016 Castro comments MORE during an at times testy interview that aired Sunday morning.  “Yeah, I might.” 

Trump was a little less certain about the veto Sunday than he has been in the past,.

On June 30, he was more definitive, saying he would veto he defense bill if it included language renaming based that had been named after Gen. Robert E. Lee and other Confederates.

The language is included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and is expected to remain after the House and Senate conclude their work on the bill, The annual measure funds military operations and would include a pay hike for members of the military.

Wallace repeatedly pressed Trump about the possibility of a veto throughout the interview. The first time, Trump said soldiers will “get their pay raise,” adding “I got soldiers the biggest pay raises in the history of our military.”

ADVERTISEMENT
When Wallace again asked if he’s going to veto the bill, Trump answered, “Because I think that Fort Bragg, Fort Robert E. Lee, all of these forts that have been named that way for a long time, decades and decades…”

“But the military says they’re for this,” Wallace inserted, leading Trump to say, “I don’t care what the military says. I do – I’m supposed to make the decision.” 

Trump cited that two World Wars were won out of Fort Bragg, named after Confederate General Braxton Bragg.  

“We won out of all of these forts that now they want to throw those names away,” the president said. “And, no, I’m against that, and you know what, most other people are.”

“No, I’m not going to go changing them,” he added.

An ABC News-Ipsos poll from last month found a majority, 56 percent, of Americans are against renaming military bases named after Confederate leaders.

The House Appropriations Committee passed the defense spending bill last week including $1 million in funding for the Army to change the names of its bases named after Confederate leaders. The Army has 10 bases named after Confederate officers.