A candidate for chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Saturday blasted President Trump, calling him “a draft-dodging chickenhawk president."
“I’ll be damned if we’re going to have a draft-dodging chickenhawk president of the United States – who thinks he’s too smart to read his own intelligence briefings – ordering the people I served with back into another conflict because he can’t be bothered to do his job properly,” South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg said at a DNC forum in Baltimore.
Buttigieg, who was deployed to Afghanistan while serving in the Navy Reserves, said during a panel with other DNC candidates that Democrats need to “tap into the moral outrage” across the country, alluding to protests over a series of executive actions Trump has taken in the first weeks of his presidency. Buttigieg criticized Trump for his order on refugees.
The New York Times reported last year that Trump received five deferments from the military draft during the Vietnam War, including four educational deferments and one medical deferment.
Other Democratic candidates criticized Trump on Saturday, with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a top contender for DNC chair, calling the president "misogynistic."
Ellison also condemned recent immigration raids after reports that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials detained several hundred people his week.
"We've got to be in solidarity, we've got to be with them. We’ve got to be on the line, carrying the sign,” Ellison said.
The DNC’s interim chairwoman, Donna Brazile, similarly spoke out against the raids on Saturday.
“For the last few days, in communities across our country, some of our neighbors heard a knock at their door. Peaceful, hard-working people were asked for their papers. Some were torn from their homes, leaving mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters behind,” Brazile said in a statement.
“This is not happening in some faraway dictatorship you have trouble finding on a map. This is happening here, in our America. And we have to keep working, keep fighting, and keep speaking out until it stops.”
A report on Friday said undocumented immigrants were arrested this week in Atlanta, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. An ICE official said while the raids were an “enforcement surge,” they were also routine.
Trump signed two executive orders last month on immigration enforcement, which ended the “catch and release” policy that allowed people who crossed the border to return to Mexico without being arrested. The other order called for construction to begin on the U.S.-Mexico border wall.