Donald Trump on Homeland Security

2016 Republican incumbent President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President


I created the Space Force and fixed the VA

There has never been an administration or president who has done more than I've done in a period of three and a half years. The greatest, before COVID came in, the greatest economy in history, lowest unemployment numbers, everything was good. Everything was going. There was unity going to happen. People were calling me for the first time in years and they were saying it's time and then what happened? We got hit. But now we're building it back up again. A rebuilding of the military, including Space Force and all of the other things. A fixing of the VA which was a mess under him, 308,000 people died because they didn't have proper health care. It was a mess. And we now got a 91% approval rating at the VA, our vets. We take care of our vets. But we've rebuilt our military.
Source: First 2020 Presidential Debate, moderated by Chris Wallace , Sep 29, 2020

I rebuilt our depleted military with $2.5 trillion

When I came into this great office, our military was depleted. It was in the worst shape it was in probably ever. It was depleted. The planes were old and broken, the ships, everything.

You see what I've done. I've rebuilt--2.5 trillion and you think that was easy getting that money from Democrats? Because they don't like the military.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview , Sep 15, 2020

FactCheck: Obama signed Veterans Choice, not Trump

Trump falsely claimed he passed the Veterans Choice program. The Veterans Choice bill, a bipartisan initiative led by Sens. Bernie Sanders and the late John McCain was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2014.

In 2018, Trump signed the VA Mission Act, which expanded and changed the Choice program. Trump has told this lie more than 150 times.

Source: CNN Fact-Check on 2020 Republican Convention speech , Aug 28, 2020

May veto FISA bill; unless "attempted coup" against him

President Trump warned he could veto the newly House-passed Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act bill until the origins of the Russia probe, which he called an "attempted coup," are investigated. "Many Republican Senators want me to Veto the FISA Bill until we find out what led to, and happened with, the illegal attempted 'coup' of the duly elected President of the United States, and others!" Trump tweeted.
Source: Fox News analysis of Mueller Report , Mar 12, 2020

$400B more from NATO members for military expenses

To safeguard American Liberty, we have invested a record-breaking $2.2 trillion in the United States Military. We have purchased the finest planes, missiles, rockets, ships, and every other form of military equipment--all made in the United States of America. We are also finally getting our allies to help pay their fair share. I have raised contributions from the other NATO members by more than $400 billion, and the number of allies meeting their minimum obligations has more than doubled.
Source: 2020 State of the Union address to Congress , Feb 4, 2020

South Korea should pay for $10B missile defense system

Trump's first complaint was to repeat what he had vented about to his national security advisor months earlier: South Korea should pay for a $10 billion missile defense system that the United States built for it. The system was built to shoot down any short and medium range missiles from North Korea to South Korea and American troops stationed there. But Trump argued that South Koreans should pay for it, proposing that the administration pull US troops out of the region or bill the South Koreans for their protection.

"We should charge them rent," Trump said of South Korea. We should make them pay for our soldiers. We should make the money off everything." Trump said U.S. troops and defense systems in South Korea did not make Americans safer. He said he could eliminate the nuclear threat on the peninsula simply by striking a deal with North Korean dictator Kim Jun Un. " This is all about leader versus leader. Man versus man. Kim versus me, he said."

Source: A Very Stable Genius, by P.Rucker & C.Leonnig, p.133-4 , Jan 21, 2020

Would take info on opponents from foreigners, might call FBI

Q: If foreigners, if Russia, if China, if someone else offers you information on opponents, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?

Trump: I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen. There's nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, "We have information on your opponent." Oh, I think I'd want to hear it. It's not an interference. They have information. I think I'd take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI. The FBI doesn't have enough agents to take care of it, but you go and talk honestly to congressmen. They all do it; they always have.

Source: ABC This Week 2019 interview on Foreign Influences , Jun 16, 2019

Ban on transgender people serving openly in the US military

Trump, after being elected, also said he was "fine" with same-sex marriage. But since he took office, his administration has scaled back some workplace protections for gay people and has argued in court that a federal anti-discrimination law doesn't protect gay employees. He has also announced a ban on transgender people serving openly in the U.S. military, which the Supreme Court last month said could be implemented even as lower-court challenges play out.
Source: Josh Lederman, NBC News, on 2019 Trump administration , Feb 19, 2019

Withdraw from INF and develop Missile Defense System

We have begun to fully rebuild the military--with $700 billion last year and $716 billion this year. We are also getting other nations to pay their fair share. For years, the US was being treated very unfairly by NATO--but now we have secured a $100 billion increase in defense spending from NATO allies.

As part of our military build-up, the US is developing a state-of-the-art Missile Defense System.

Decades ago the United States entered into a treaty with Russia in which we agreed to limit and reduce our missile capabilities. While we followed the agreement to the letter, Russia repeatedly violated its terms. That is why I announced that the United States is officially withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty.

Perhaps we can negotiate a different agreement, adding China and others, or perhaps we can't--in which case, we will outspend and out-innovate all others by far.

Source: 2019 State of the Union address to United States Congress , Feb 5, 2019

Space Force: sixth branch of the armed services

President Trump touted one of his proudest achievements: Securing what he called "$716 billion with a B," for the military next year. "Our military will be stronger, and bigger, and better and more sophisticated than it's ever been. Ever," Trump told the crowd at the Charleston Civic Center. "The stronger your military, the better chance you have of never having to use it. We don't want to use it. We don't want to use it."

Of course, Trump also included a plug for his latest initiative, creating a Space Force as a sixth branch of the armed services. "That's very exciting. We need it. That's the new frontier. And I'm not just talking about sending rockets to the moon. I'm talking about militarily, that's where it's at."

Source: Washington Examiner on 2018 Trump Administration , Aug 22, 2018

Unmatched power is key to defense, including more nukes

Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values. In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense.

For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.

As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression. Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet.

Source: 2018 State of the Union address , Jan 30, 2018

Meaningful engagement with allies paying their fair share

Our foreign policy calls for a direct, robust and meaningful engagement with the world. It is American leadership based on vital security interests that we share with our allies across the globe. We strongly support NATO, an alliance forged through the bonds of two World Wars that dethroned fascism, and a Cold War that defeated communism.

But our partners must meet their financial obligations. And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that. We expect our partners, whether in NATO, in the Middle East, or the Pacific--to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the cost. We will respect historic institutions, but we will also respect the sovereign rights of nations.

My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America. But we know that America is better off, when there is less conflict--not more.

Source: 2017 State of the Union address to Congress , Feb 28, 2017

More tools so our military can fight and win

To keep America safe, we must provide the men and women of the United States military with the tools they need to prevent war and--if they must--to fight and to win.

I am sending the Congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the Defense sequester, and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.

My budget will also increase funding for our veterans. Our veterans have delivered for this Nation--and now we must deliver for them.

Source: 2017 State of the Union address to Congress , Feb 28, 2017

Ensure U.S. nuclear arsenal is at the top of the pack

Pres. Trump said he wants to ensure the US nuclear arsenal is at the "top of the pack," saying the US has fallen behind in its weapons capacity. In his first comments about the US nuclear arsenal since taking office, Trump was asked about a December tweet in which he said the US must greatly expand its nuclear capacity "until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes."

Trump said, "I am the first one that would like to see nobody have nukes, but we're never going to fall behind any country, even if it's a friendly country. It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we're going to be at the top of the pack."

Russia has 7,000 warheads and the United States, 6,800. The New START treaty between the US and Russia requires that by February 5, 2018, both countries limit their arsenals of strategic nuclear weapons to 800 ICBMs for 10 years. Trump called New START "a one-sided deal."

Source: Reuters on 2017 Trump Administration promises & actio , Feb 14, 2017

Expand US nuclear capability; we're falling behind

President-elect Donald Trump called for the US to expand its nuclear arsenal, after Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country's nuclear potential needs fortifying, raising the specter of a new arms race that would reverse decades of efforts to reduce the number and size of the two countries' nuclear weapons.

In a tweet that offered no details, Trump said, "The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes."

During the campaign, Trump talked in one debate about the need to modernize the country's infrastructure of nuclear weaponry, saying the US is falling behind.

Trump's tweet came shortly after Putin, during a defense ministry meeting, said, "We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defense systems."

Source: Washington Post on Trump Transition promises & actions , Dec 22, 2016

FactCheck: US spends more than NATO, but only 22% on NATO

Trump said, "The 28 countries of NATO, many of them aren't paying their fair share.... We pay approximately 73% of the cost of NATO." [Is that true?]

The US share is calculated on the basis of GDP--and adjusted regularly. Currently that's 22%, compared to about 15% for Germany, 11% for France, 10% for the UK, 8% for Italy, 7% for Canada, and so forth--based on NATO's guideline, established in 2006, that defense expenditures should amount to 2% of each country's GDP. The median spending in 2015 is just 1.18% of GDP, compared to 3.7% for the US, Just four other countries currently exceed the 2% guideline.

However, on INDIRECT funding, NATO says, "The volume of the US defense expenditure effectively represents 73% of the defense spending of the Alliance."

In short, direct funding of NATO is allocated on a reasonable formula, with the US paying just 22% of the cost. But indirect funding is a different issue, with U.S. defense spending far exceeding the spending of other NATO members.

Source: Washington Post Fact-check on First 2016 Presidential Debate , Sep 28, 2016

We defend Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia: they need to pay

TRUMP: We defend Japan, we defend Germany, we defend South Korea, we defend Saudi Arabia, we defend countries. They do not pay us. But they should be paying us, because we are providing tremendous service and we're losing a fortune. It's very possible that if they don't pay a fair share, because this isn't 40 years ago where we could do what we're doing. We can't defend Japan, a behemoth, selling us cars by the million. They may have to defend themselves or they have to help us out. We're a country that owes $20 trillion. They have to help us out.

CLINTON: I want to reassure our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere that we have mutual defense treaties and we will honor them. It is essential that America's word be good. On behalf of a majority of the American people, I want to say that our word is good.

TRUMP: And as far as Japan is concerned, I want to help all of our allies, but we are losing billions and billions of dollars. We cannot be the policemen of the world.

Source: First 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University , Sep 26, 2016

South Korea and Japan should pay 100% of US military costs

The news coming out of the meeting was about Trump saying that maybe the United States didn't need to put so much money into NATO, the core of the European-American security alliance since the Cold War-- the kind of statement that might win nods or applause at a rally, but sparked shock and ridicule in the corridors of think tanks and policy shops in Washington.

"NATO was set up when we were a richer country," Trump said. "We're not a rich country. We're borrowing, we're borrowing all of this money."

But you do know, editorial writer Charles Lane said, that South Korea and Japan pay half of the administrative cost of keeping the American military in those countries, right?

"Fifty percent?" Trump asked.

"Yeah," Lane confirmed.

"Why isn't it one hundred percent?"

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p. 11 , Aug 23, 2016

Charge rich countries like Germany more to defend them

KASICH: We're in agreement that the Japanese need to do more. We're in agreement that the Europeans need to do more. But, at the same time, we have to rebuild the military. I have a balanced budget plan that cuts taxes, reforms regulations, but also builds the military, puts a $100 billion dollars more in defense.

TRUMP: We can no longer defend all of these countries, Japan, Germany, South Korea. You order televisions, you order almost anything, you're getting it from these countries. They are making a fortune. We defend all of these countries for peanuts. You talk about budgets. We have to start getting reimbursed for taking care of the military services for all of these countries.

Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

We worry about Iranian nukes but why not North Korean nukes?

It's not only Russia [that we're having trouble with]. We have problems with North Korea where they actually have nuclear weapons. You know, nobody talks about it, we talk about Iran, and that's one of the worst deals ever made. One of the worst contracts ever signed, ever, in anything, and it's a disgrace. But, we have somebody over there, a madman, who already has nuclear weapons we don't talk about that.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

Building up military is cheap when you consider alternative

Building up our military is cheap when you consider the alternative. We're buying peace and we're locking in our national security. Right now we are in bad shape militarily. We're decreasing the size of our forces and we're not giving them the best equipment. Recruiting the best people has s fallen off, and we can't get the people we have trained to the level they need to be. There are a lot of questions about the state of our nuclear weapons. When I read reports of what is going on, I'm shocked.

It's no wonder nobody respects us. It's no surprise that we never win. Spending money on our military is also smart business. Who do people think build our airplanes and ships, and all the equipment that our troops should have? American workers, that's who.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 33 , Nov 3, 2015

Opposed gay marriage but supported gays serving in military

Trump's effort at capturing the public's attention has produced a trail of public statements that would fill many thousands of scrapbook pages. Over time he has been quoted so widely on such a variety of topics that anyone who sought to keep track would feel overwhelmed.

Over the years Trump has been opposed to gay marriage and in favor of gays serving in the military. He has supported abortion rights and then opposed them.

Source: Never Enough by M. D'Antonio, p.324-5 , Sep 22, 2015

Our nuclear arsenal doesn't work; it's 30 years old

Our enemies are getting stronger and stronger, and we as a country are getting weaker. Even our nuclear arsenal doesn't work.

It came out recently they have equipment that is 30 years old. They don't know if it worked. And I thought it was horrible when it was broadcast on television, because boy, does that send signals to Putin and all of the other people that look at us and they say, "That is a group of people, and that is a nation that truly has no clue. They don't know what they're doing."

Source: 2015 announcement speeches of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 16, 2015

American interests come first; no apologies

    I believe that any credible American foreign policy doctrine should be defined by at least seven core principles:
  1. American interests come first. Always. No apologies.
  2. Maximum firepower and military preparedness.
  3. Only go to war to win.
  4. Stay loyal to your friends and suspicious of your enemies.
  5. Keep the technological sword razor sharp.
  6. See the unseen. Prepare for threats before they materialize.
  7. Respect and support our present and past warriors.
Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 87 , Dec 5, 2011

All freedoms flow from national security

Obama's recent decision to gut the U.S. military by cutting $400 billion from our defense budget, a figure more than double what then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates identified as being prudent. Now here's Obama, a guy who never met a spending bill h doesn't love. But when it comes to funding our troops and giving them the equipment, training, and support they need, Obama is MIA.

The reason conservatives support a strong and well-funded military is because they know that all freedoms flow from national security. That's why we need a new president. It's also why we need to get tough in foreign policy to deal with the threats and challenges America faces from rival and enemy nations.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 90-91 , Dec 5, 2011

Business students should read Sun Tzu's "The Art of War"

Back in school, I spent time studying wars and their impact on where we are today in civilization. That's a big assignment and I'm by no means an expert, but it is worth spending some time to know how and why we are where we are today.

One book that I would suggest to you, because it is valuable for business and managerial strategies, is "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu. This was apparently written in the sixth century BC and is a study of military strategy. It may sound like an unusual business school recommendation, but believe me, it isn't. It's valuable and worth your time.

By comparison, another famed book is Machiavelli's The Prince, which is more about political conflict and qualities necessary for leadership than war or business, but its emphasis on power becomes a negative factor. Ethics and integrity seem to get lost somewhere in the shuffle, and therefore the word Machiavellian has become a pejorative term. It's a better use of your time to read "The Art of War."

Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p. 33 , Apr 27, 2010

Focus & discipline are habits I learned in military school

Acknowledge the problem, and then shift your attention immediately to possible solutions. Start by first thinking about what is good about the existing situation. Then dream up scenarios in which things are better. Then take the best ideas and act on them.

That is the Trump way of using focus to solve problems. Do not think about the problem in terms of "How did it happen?" or "It is impossible to solve." Instead, accept the challenge. Realize that you have what it takes to overcome the challenge. Then look for solutions. Ask experts for advice. Start testing possible solutions. If one idea fails, go to the next one and the next until you succeed.

Focus and discipline are habits, skills that everyone can learn. I was the most undisciplined kid you could ever imagine. My parents could not handle me so they sent me off to a military school at a young age, where I learned discipline. Without this training, I never would have become who I am today.

Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p.237-8 , Sep 8, 2008

3% of GNP for military is too low

To tell the enemy were not going to invade defies common sense. That lack of confidence may reflect another troubling reality: our diminished military forces. To wage our aerial assault on Yugoslavia we had to call upon US forces from all points of the globe. Why? Because were spread too thin. The US last year spent 3% of gross domestic product maintaining our military forces. Compare that with past figures: Defense spending in the last year of the Carter administration came to 4.9% of GDP. During the Reagan buildup it was 6.5%. We are still living off the Reagan military buildup of nearly 20 years ago. The question is: What will we live off ten or fifteen years from now if we do not invest again?

You cant pursue forward military and foreign-policy objectives on a backward military budget. Im not advocating that America go forth and police the world. Im just saying that if were going to use our military power abroad, we had better make sure that power is ready to be used.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.149 , Jul 2, 2000

Prepare for bio-terrorism attack

We need to stockpile antibiotics in major population areas and train emergency workers to respond quickly to biological attack. We need to develop and deploy sensors in major cities that will give us early warning that biological devices have been detonated. Remember, these microbes can take a while to spread, so any warning we have will help to save lives. We need to keep a close eye on former Soviet bio-technicians, offering them jobs where we can and steering them clear of terrorist regimes. Call your congressman. When private citizens start asking about the Joint Statement on Biological Weapons, politicians will know this is an issue theyd better take seriously.

[We should] prepare for the possibility of attack, to avoid total panic in case an attack does occur. Our adversaries understand that if they are able to blindside us they will be much more likely to succeed in blackmailing us.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.166-67 , Jul 2, 2000

Donald Trump on 11-Sep

Cannot allow beachhead of radical Islamic terrorism

Our obligation is to serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the United States. We are also taking strong measures to protect our Nation from Radical Islamic Terrorism.

The vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home. We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany and all over the world.

It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur. Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values.

We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America--we cannot allow our Nation to become a sanctuary for extremists. That is why my Administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our Nation safe--and to keep out those who would do us harm.

Source: 2017 State of the Union address to Congress , Feb 28, 2017

9/11 was horrific, but New York handled it beautifully

Q [to Sen. Ted Cruz]: You criticized Donald Trump for having "New York values." What does that mean?

CRUZ: I think most people know exactly what New York values are. There are many wonderful working men and women in the state of New York. But everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal or pro-abortion or pro- gay-marriage, focus around money and the media. Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan. I'm just saying.

TRUMP: When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on earth could have handled more beautifully than New York. You had two 110-story buildings come crashing down. Thousands of people killed, and the cleanup started the next day, and it was the most horrific cleanup. We rebuilt downtown Manhattan, and everybody in the world watched and everybody in the world loved New York and loved New Yorkers.

Source: Fox Business Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

Err on the side of security: restore the PATRIOT Act

Donald Trump said that he supports reauthorizing the USA PATRIOT Act and bulk cell phone metadata collection by the National Security Agency.

When asked about NSA metadata collection, Trump replied, "Well, I tend to err on the side of security. When you have people that are beheading if you're a Christian and frankly for lots of other reasons, when you have the world looking at us and would like to destroy us as quickly as possible, I err on the side of security, and some people like that, frankly, and some people don't like that. And I'm not just saying that since the Paris [attack], I'm saying for quite some time. I assume when I pick up my telephone people are listening to my conversations anyway, if you want to know the truth. It's pretty sad commentary, but I err on the side of security," said Trump.

Hewitt then asked, "Alright, so you would be in favor of restoring the Patriot Act?"

"I think that would be fine. As far as I'm concerned, that would be fine," Trump responded.

Source: TruthInMedia report on Hugh Hewitt radio interview , Dec 7, 2015

We have a problem with radical Muslims

Q: On the campaign trail, a voter said "We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims." You're not responsible for what he says, but this is raw, unvarnished, ignorant bigotry. Do you not have a responsibility to call out this hatred?

TRUMP: Well, you know, we could be politically correct, if you want. But, certainly, are you trying to say we don't have a problem? We do have a problem with radical Muslims. As I have already said; I have tremendous people that I know that are Muslims.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 20, 2015

Donald Trump on Islamic Terrorism

Terrorists do not worship God; they worship death

It seemed fitting that President Trump would give his signature speech to gulf nations at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center. For Trump, it was an opportunity to shoot straight,, not mince words, and throw God squarely in the center of all things. Try these statements on for size: "Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death," Trump exclaimed. "Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person and invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith." And his message to would be terrorists had a bold meaning centered on the afterlife. If you choose the life of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your soul will be condemned!"
Source: The Faith of Donald J. Trump, by Brody & Lamb, p.293 , Feb 3, 2018

Keep Guantanamo open; stop releases & add new prisoners

Terrorists who do things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil. When possible, we annihilate them. When necessary, we must be able to detain and question them. But we must be clear: Terrorists are not merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants. And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are.

In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield--including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi.

So today, I am keeping another promise. I just signed an order to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay.

I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qa'ida, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists--wherever we chase them down.

Source: 2018 State of the Union address , Jan 30, 2018

Replace a Muslim ban with an extreme vetting of Muslims

Q: Pence said this week that the Muslim ban is no longer your position. Is that correct? Was it a mistake to have a religious test?

A: The Muslim ban is something that in some form has morphed into an extreme vetting from certain areas of the world. We are going to areas like Syria where they're coming in by the tens of thousands because of Obama, and Clinton wants to allow a 550% increase. People are coming into our country & we have no idea who they are, where they are from. This is going to be the greatest Trojan Horse of all time. I believe in building safe zones. I believe in having other people pay for them, as an example, the Gulf states, who are not carrying their weight, but they have nothing but money, and take care of people. I don't want to have, with all the problems this country has and you see going on, hundreds of thousands of people coming in from Syria when we know nothing about them. We know nothing about their values and we know nothing about their love for our country.

Source: Second 2016 Presidential Debate at WUSTL in St. Louis MO , Oct 9, 2016

Muslims have to report terrorist problems when they see them

Q: With Islamophobia on the rise, how will you help people like me deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election?

A: You're right about Islamophobia, and that's a shame. Whether we like it or not, and we could be very politically correct, there is a problem. And we have to be sure that Muslims come in and report when they see something going on. When they see hatred going on, they have to report it.

Source: Second 2016 Presidential Debate at WUSTL in St. Louis MO , Oct 9, 2016

I don't want to be politically correct: Islam hates us

Q: You told CNN, "Islam hates us." Did you mean all 1.6 billion Muslims?

TRUMP: I mean a lot of them.

Q: Do you want to clarify the comment?

TRUMP: I've been watching the [other candidates in the] debate today. And they're talking about radical Islamic terrorism. But I will tell you this. There's tremendous hatred. And I will stick with exactly what I said.

Sen. Marco RUBIO: I know that a lot of people find appeal in the things Donald says because he says what people wish they could say. The problem is, presidents can't just say anything they want. It has consequences, here and around the world.

TRUMP: Marco talks about consequences. Well, we've had a lot of consequences, including airplanes flying into the World Trade Center. I don't want to be so politically correct. I like to solve problems. We have a serious, serious problem of hate. There is tremendous hate. Where large portions of a group of people, Islam, large portions want to use very, very harsh means.

Source: 2016 GOP primary debate in Miami , Mar 10, 2016

Keep Gitmo open, and load it up with bad dudes

Donald Trump promised to keep open the military detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, then riffed on ways that he could do it on the cheap: "This morning I watched President Obama talking about Gitmo," said Trump. "Guantanamo Bay--which by the way, we are keeping open! And we're going to load it up with some bad dudes. We're going to load it up."

Trump then mused about one of the Obama administration's reasons for trying to shut the prison down: "Here's the thing I didn't understand," he said. "We spend $40 million a month on maintaining this place? Now, think of it--$40 million a month! What do we have left in there, like, a hundred people, or something? And we're spending $40 million? I would guarantee you I could do it for a tiny, tiny fraction. I don't mean $39 million. I mean maybe $5 million, maybe $3 million. Maybe, like, peanuts."

Source: Washington Post, "Cuba should take over Guantanamo" , Feb 23, 2016

Bring back waterboarding and a hell of a lot worse

Q: Sen. Cruz, you have said, "torture is wrong, unambiguously, period. Civilized nations do not engage in torture." Is waterboarding torture?

CRUZ: Well, under the definition of torture, no, it's not.

Q: As president, would you bring it back?

CRUZ: I would not bring it back in any sort of widespread use.

Q: Mr. Trump, you said not only does torture work, but that you'd bring it back.

TRUMP: In the Middle East, we have people chopping the heads off Christians. We have things that we have never seen before. Not since medieval times have people seen what's going on. I would bring back waterboarding and I'd bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.

Q: Gov. Bush, Congress has passed laws banning the use of waterboarding by the military and the CIA. Would you want Congress to change that if you're elected president?

BUSH: No, I wouldn't. I think where we stand is the appropriate place. But what we need to do is to make sure that we expand our intelligence capabilities.

Source: 2016 ABC Republican debate on eve of N.H. primary , Feb 6, 2016

Bring back waterboarding and other interrogation methods

Q: Do you think we should bring back enhanced interrogation like waterboarding?

TRUMP: Well, we have to be strong. You know, they don't use waterboarding over there; they use chopping off people's heads. They use drowning people. I don't know if you've seen with the cages, where they put people in cages and they drown them in the ocean and they lift out the cage. And we're talking about waterboarding. I would bring it back, yes. I think waterboarding is peanuts compared to what they'd do to us, what they're doing to us, what they did to James Foley when they chopped off his head. That's a whole different level and I would absolutely bring back interrogation and strong interrogation.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 22, 2015

Surveil mosques but don't close mosques

Q: You've said that we have to consider closing mosques. What would be your criteria for closing a mosque? And how does that square with the First Amendment? You've said your top priority would be to preserve and protect our religious liberties. Is that only for Christians?

TRUMP: Well, I don't want to close mosques; I want mosques surveilled. And all I would do, certainly there are certain hot spots and everybody knows they're hot spots. Good material was coming out of those mosques. We were learning a lot. And they were stopping problems and potential problems by learning what was happening. I don't want to close up mosques but things have to happen where, you have got to use strong measures or you're going to see buildings coming down all over New York City and elsewhere.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 22, 2015

Defeat ISIS and stop Islamic terrorists

Businessman and celebrity Donald Trump got a standing ovation from most of the crowd at the Iowa Freedom Summit as he blasted rank-and-file Republican politicians and described President Barack Obama as either grossly incompetent or having ulterior motives in leading the country: "I know what needs to be done to make America great again. We can make this country great again. The potential is enormous and I am seriously thinking of running for president," Trump remarked as the crowd cheered.

Trump said the country is in trouble and if he wins the presidency he would defeat ISIS and stop Islamic terrorists. He said he would reduce the federal budget deficit and build a fence on the nation's southern border to stop illegal immigration, adding, "I mean seriously securing" the border.

Source: Des Moines Register on 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit , Jan 24, 2015

Missile defense is inappropriate; focus on terrorism

We definitely must find funding for defense, which means somebody is going to come up with less money for their own project. I think the best place to start is by diverting money from the planned missile defense system. I know this sounds almost counterintuitive because a missile defense system is supposed to help us defend against attack by rogue states.

To begin with, Im not laughing at missile defense, and I never have. The question isnt whether or not such a defense can be built. The question is whether it is the right defense for our times. And I believe the answer is, largely, no. In this age of miniaturization, our real threat is not going to be flying in on a missile. Its going to be delivered in a van, or a suitcase, or a fire-hydrant-sized canister.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.150 , Jul 2, 2000

Donald Trump on Veteran Affairs

I never said soldiers are suckers; I do so much for vets

Q: Regarding your recent comments about our United States soldiers, referring to them as suckers.

TRUMP: It was a fake statement. I never made those statements. They were never made by me. They said I stood over the grave of soldiers killed many years ago and I said they were suckers. I never made that.

Q: Especially John McCain?

TRUMP: I was never a fan of John McCain. I never thought he treated our vets well, he didn't do the job. I was never a fan of his. But everybody knows that, and I said it to his face.

Q: You said he's not a war hero.

TRUMP: I have done so much for our vets and for our military. I rebuilt our military. Our military, when I came into this great office, our military was depleted. It was in the worst shape it was in probably ever. It was depleted. The planes were old and broken, the ships, everything.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview , Sep 15, 2020

Fort renaming: I don't care what the military says

Q: The National Defense Authorization Act, you have threatened to veto it because it would rename bases named for Confederate generals. The military says they're for this.

TRUMP: I don't care what the military says. I'm supposed to make the decision. Fort Bragg is a big deal. What are we going to name it? We're going to name it after the Reverend Al Sharpton? We won two World Wars out of all of these forts that now they want to throw those names away.

Source: Fox News Sunday interview of 2020 presidential hopefuls , Jul 19, 2020

Fire 1,500 VA employees who failed to serve veterans

We are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice in their healthcare decisions. Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act. Since its passage, my Administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who failed to give our veterans the care they deserve--and we are hiring talented people who love our vets as much as we do. I will not stop until our veterans are properly taken care of, which has been my promise to them from the very beginning of this great journey.

All Americans deserve accountability and respect--and that is what we are giving them. So tonight, I call on the Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers--and to remove Federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.

Source: 2018 State of the Union address , Jan 30, 2018

Create a military court system to deal with sexual assaults

Q: What would you do to support victims of sexual assault in the military?

A: The numbers are staggering, hard to believe. At the same time, we want to keep the court system within the military. The best thing we can do is set up a court system within the military. Right now, the court system practically doesn't exist. It takes too long.

Source: 2016 NBC Commander-in-Chief forum with Matt Lauer , Sep 7, 2016

VA is one of the most incompetently-run agencies

The Department of Veterans Affairs ( VA) is probably the most incompetently run agency in the United States government. And that's saying something. The problem is that there are too many political people involved within its operation.

The taxpayers pay more than $150 billion a year for the VA, and what do we get for that? Right now, the VA is being run by people who don't know what they're doing. They're getting more money from the government than ever before and yet the care gets worse. The list of men and women waiting for care is growing and their wait times are longer. How can the VA possibly be so inefficient? We need to put people in charge who know how to run big operations. We have to get the best managers and give them the power, the money, and the tools to get the job done. We owe our veterans nothing less.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p.106-7 , Nov 3, 2015

Fix veteran's hospitals, and pay private doctors for them

Q: You said that you would build more hospitals for veterans--is there anything else you would do?

A: One of the things I would do is fix the hospitals. What I'm going to do is make sure that they will be able to go out and use private doctors and we will pay the private doctors. We're going to do a bit of a free market thing so that veterans can get immediate service and good treatment.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 20, 2015

Increased Veterans Day parade audience from 100 to 1 million

Trump has long been a devoted supporter of veteran causes. In 1995, the fiftieth anniversary of World War II, only 100 spectators watched New York City's Veteran Day Parade. It was an insult to all veterans. Approached by Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the chief of New York City's FBI office, Trump agreed to lead as Grand Marshall a second parade later that year. Mr. Trump made a $1 million matching donation to finance the Nation's Day Parade. On Saturday, November 11th, over 1.4 million watched as Trump marched down Fifth Avenue with more than 25,000 veterans, some dressed in their vintage uniforms. A month later, Trump was honored in the Pentagon during a lunch with the Secretary of Defense and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, DonaldJTrump.com , Jun 16, 2015

1994 Veteran's parade: Such high-quality people led military

[After a poorly-attended Veteran's Day parade], a group of veterans wanted to do it differently the following year. Those veterans asked me to lead it as Grand Marshal--essentially they wanted my stamp of approval. They needed dollars. They knew I could raise lots of money and get additional donors. They also knew I would attract a lot of press.

I agreed. I thought it would be fun, and I knew it was important. Mayor Giuliani was pledging the support of the city. I put up money; others matched it. I always knew there was a military out there, but I had no idea such high quality people led it. This is something I got to know, and know very well, over the next few months.

Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p.168-72 , Oct 27, 1997

Donald Trump on Vietnam

1965: opposed Vietnam War but never joined protests

As the Vietnam War had dragged on, Trump's generation of young men had joined the armed services at a rate of more than 1 million per year. Students at the University of Pennsylvania [where Trump was a student] were not so restive. However, in 1965 more than a thousand students attended an antiwar "teach- in."

In 1968, Donald Trump's last year at Penn, a small group occupied a building and drove away recruiters for the Central Intelligence Agency. Donald Trump did not join in the protests, sign petitions, or otherwise agitate the power of the "establishment."

Although he personally opposed the war, Trump would later say he was so intently focused on his future in business that he was not even aware of the campus protests. In light of Trump's political disengagement, you might conclude that he was more like a college man of the fifties than the sixties.

Source: Never Enough, by Michael D`Antonio, p. 68-9 , Sep 22, 2015

1969: Drew high draft lottery number, and never got drafted

In Dec. 1969, draft priority based on a random drawing of birth dates gave him number 356. No one with a number higher than 195 was ever called to serve.

"I actually got lucky because I had a very high draft number," he would tell a TV interviewer in 2011. "I'll never forget, that was an amazing period of time in my life." In fact the lottery was not a factor in his experience. It didn't occur until fourteen months after he received his medical exemption, and eighteen months after he'd left Penn.

Nevertheless he would recall, "I was going to the Wharton School of Finance, and I was watching as they did the draft numbers." When the subject came up in conversation in 2014, he repeated the draft number story. But when offered the chance to work through the details, he seized it. Yes, he agreed, if the first lottery took place in 1969, he must have been mistaken about living in Philadelphia. And the gap between his graduation from Penn and the lottery could be explained by a medical deferment.

Source: Never Enough, by Michael D`Antonio, p. 70 , Sep 22, 2015

Vietnam war was mistake; I'm grateful that I stayed civilian

[On the Vietnam draft], after his graduation from Penn [he received a] medical deferment. Trump slipped off his black loafer & pointed to his heel, where a little bulge pushed against his sock. "Heel spurs," he explained. "On both feet." The deformities qualified a would-be draftee for a medical deferment. Unlike others who dealt with the same question as public figures, Trump wasn't defensive about never having served. The war "was a mistake" he said, and he was grateful to have remained a civilian.
Source: Never Enough, by Michael D`Antonio, p. 70 , Sep 22, 2015

1964: Deferred Vietnam draft for four years while in college

A few weeks after his 22nd birthday, Donald Trump received a notice from the federal government. On July 9, 1968, his local draft board had scrawled a "1A" beside his name in its handwritten ledger, classifying him as available for unrestricted military service.

For the previous four years, Trump had avoided the draft -- and the possibility of being sent to fight in the Vietnam War -- by obtaining four separate deferments so he could study at Fordham University and the University of Pennsylvania. With his diploma in hand and his college days over, he was suddenly vulnerable to conscription.

Trump's exposure to the draft, however, didn't last long. In September 1968, he reported for an armed forces physical examination and was medically disqualified.

Source: Washington Post, "Questions linger about Trump's deferments" , Jul 21, 2015

1968: Classified 1-Y, medically disqualified for Vietnam

On Sept. 17, 1968, Trump reported for an armed forces physical examination and was medically disqualified, according to the ledger from his local Selective Service System draft board in Jamaica, NY, now in the custody of the National Archives. The ledger does not detail why Trump failed the exam--the Selective Service destroyed all medical records and individual files after the draft ended in 1973.

In recent days, Trump and his campaign have said that he received the medical deferment because he had bone spurs in his feet. But rather than clear up all questions about why he did not serve in the military during the Vietnam era, they have given shifting accounts that are at odds with the few remaining documents in his Selective Service file. Trump has given limited information about the nature of his medical ailment from 1968 that left him classified as "1-Y," or unqualified for duty except in the case of a national emergency.

Source: Washington Post, "Questions linger about Trump's deferments" , Jul 21, 2015

Other candidates on Homeland Security: Donald Trump on other issues:
2024 Republican Presidential Candidates:
Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND)
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
Larry Elder (R-CA;withdrew)
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-FL;withdrew)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Perry Johnson (R-IL)
Mayor Steve Laffey (R-RI)
Former V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN;withdrew)
Vivek Ramaswamy (R-OH)
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Secy. Corey Stapleton (R-MT)
Mayor Francis Suarez (R-FL;withdrew)
Former Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)

2024 Democratic and 3rd-party primary candidates:
Pres. Joe Biden (D-DE)
V.P.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I-NY)
Chase Oliver (L-GA)
Rep.Dean Phillips (D-MN)
Jill Stein (Green)
Cornel West (Green Party)
Kanye West (Birthday Party)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
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