Former White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster said the military will not be involved in a potential transfer of power in 2021, calling it “irresponsible” to discuss.
“The military will have no role in a transition. In fact, to even talk about it, I think is irresponsible,” McMaster said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “If you detect some reticence on the part of senior military leaders or people in the Pentagon to talk about it, it’s because it shouldn’t even be a topic for discussion.”
“Our Founders were very concerned about this,” he added, noting the framers of the Constitution’s emphasis on separation of the military from politics.
TODAY: Former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster says “the military will have no role in a transition” after the 2020 election. #MTP #IfItsSunday@LTGHRMcMaster: “Even talk about it, I think, is irresponsible.” pic.twitter.com/WlEmvjKh52— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) September 27, 2020
President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE has said he wants a "friendly transition" of power but has also repeatedly claimed he will only lose re-election as a result of vote-rigging.
McMaster also directly criticized the use of tear gas and pepper spray against demonstrators in Lafayette Square, directly across from the White House, in June.
Trump crossed the square to take a picture holding a Bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church after the square was cleared.
“It was just wrong, it was more than unfortunate, because… we can’t try to pull the military into politics. Some of the things the president has said have been irresponsible, but oftentimes some of the reaction to what he says is equally irresponsible,” McMaster said.
“I think all politicians have a responsibility of keeping that bold line in place, certainly the military profession does as well, to be studiously apolitical so all Americans have confidence in our military institutions, and that also there’s never any infringement on our democratic principles,” he continued.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley has said he regretted participating in the photo opportunity.
“As a commissioned, uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from,” Milley said the following week. “And I sincerely hope we all can learn from it.”