President Donald Trump ruffled some feathers on Thursday with his choice of words when describing an overseas military operation.
The comments came when a White House press pool reporter asked Trump if he had personally authorised the deployment of the 21,000-pound bomb that was dropped on an ISIS tunnel complex.
“Everybody knows exactly what happened. What I do is I authorise my military,” Trump said. “We have the greatest military in the world and they have done a job as usual. So we have given them total authorization.”
The phrase “my military” stuck out to members of the defence community, some of whom did not appreciate Trump’s use of the possessive pronoun. Chief among them was Leon Panetta, a former defence secretary and CIA director who served under President Barack Obama.
“When it comes to the military, the military belongs to the country. Our defence system belongs to the country. And it’s not the president’s military, it’s the military of the United States of America,” Panetta said on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews.”
“He has responsibility obviously, as commander in chief, to be able to make decisions with regards to our military. But I think if you ask the men and women in uniform who they are responsible to, I think their answer would be, ‘We’re responsible to the United States of America.'”
The social media response was equally critical:
However, some Twitter users were supportive:
.@realDonaldTrump use phrases like “My Military ” “My Generals” As if these Generals & Admirals appeared out of the air. Not yours it’s ours pic.twitter.com/Hwl9JtjlGm
— Navy_Man (@Submarine_Guy) April 14, 2017
Donald Trump said “I authorise my military.” Any school kid knows it’s not his military. It’s ours.
— Martin O’Malley (@MartinOMalley) April 13, 2017
Trump is the commander in chief of the military, the highest rank possible. He has every right to say “…MY military…”
— Karlie Rogers (@karlie_rogers) April 14, 2017
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