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Trump launches attack on Elizabeth Warren over amendment requiring military bases named after confederate leaders to be renamed

For decades, she said, new black members of Congress have come to Washington and wondered "what are these people (statues) doing here?"

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Thursday 11 June 2020 20:37 BST
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Kayleigh McEnany says Trump refuses to rename US military bases

Donald Trump attacked Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, using a derisive nickname, over her amendment that prompted an Armed Services Committee agreement that all US military bases named after Confederate generals should be renamed in three years.

"Seriously failed presidential candidate, Senator Elizabeth 'Pocahontas' Warren, just introduced an Amendment on the renaming of many of our legendary Military Bases from which we trained to WIN two World Wars," the president tweeted from Air Force One en route to an event on race relations and other topics in Dallas.

"Hopefully our great Republican Senators won't fall for this!" he added, putting pressure on his party to block the compromise spawned by Ms Warren's initial amendment that would have required even faster name changes.

The Armed Services Committee's annual Pentagon policy bill, following committee work this week, could be further changed when it hits the chamber floor later this year.

Mr Trump's nickname is mocking. He is indirectly pointing out a falsehood Ms Warren herself told: That she had substantial Native American ancestry. She does not, and eventually apologised.

The president on Wednesday rejected calls to rename US military bases named after confederate generals in the midst of ongoing social unrest after the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

"The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations," the president tweeted a day after some military leaders said they were open to the idea.

"It has been suggested that we should rename as many as 10 of our Legendary Military Bases, such as Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Benning in Georgia, etc.," Mr Trump wrote. "These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a......history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom."

His press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said Wednesday her boss "fervently" is against new names for the bases, saying it would be an "insult" to fallen troops to rename the bases.

One reason is because "the last piece" of US soil many fallen American military troops sa before dying in battle was at bases named after confederate generals.

The president's top spokeswoman took a shot at former Vice President Joe Biden, saying he supported pro-segregation figures during America's race-based school busing debates.

A day later, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California signalled she and her Democratic mates will seek to remove all statues of Confederate generals and leaders now on display in the US Capitol.

"You start with a feather" and try to get "a consensus," she said, indicating she wants to first try negotiating changes with congressional Republican leaders.

For decades, she said, new black members of Congress have come to Washington and wondered "what are these people (statues) doing here?"

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