Trump boasts that he ‘single-handedly’ selected Alabama as the new location for Space Command, frustrating Colorado politicians who previously criticized the relocation

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump. Getty
  • Former President Trump said that he “single-handedly” moved Space Command from Colorado to Alabama.
  • Trump made the revelation on the radio show “Rick and Bubba” ahead of a Saturday rally in the state.
  • A bipartisan group of Colorado politicians are calling for a reexamination of the decision.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump on Friday revealed that he “single-handedly” decided to move the US Space Command from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado to a new site in Alabama, frustrating a bipartisan group of elected officials who have long harbored suspicions that the decision was made for political reasons.

During an interview on the Alabama-based “Rick and Bubba” radio show ahead of a Saturday evening rally in the southern state, Trump boasted of making the decision, despite mistakenly mixing up Space Command with Space Force, a separate branch of the military.

“I single-handedly said, ‘Let’s go to Alabama,'” he told the hosts. “They wanted it. I said ‘Let’s go to Alabama.’ I love Alabama.”

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In January, the US Air Force announced that Space Command’s headquarters would be relocated from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

Colorado Springs was home to Space Command’s predecessor, Air Force Space Command, and many lawmakers have questioned the change.

The decision is currently being investigated by the Pentagon’s Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office.

While Colorado voted for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016 and now-President Joe Biden in 2020, Alabama voters overwhelmingly backed Trump in both of his presidential campaigns.

The move has drawn the ire of the state’s top Democrats, which include Gov. Jared Polis and Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, as well as local Republicans, from Congressman Doug Lamborn to Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.

“Colorado is the natural home for Space Command,” the governor said in a joint statement with Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera on Friday. “These callous comments fly in the face of Coloradans, military families, and those who have worked to cultivate our aerospace ecosystem that is suited to guarantee the operational success of US Space Command and deliver the best value to taxpayers.”

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They added: “Keeping US Space Command in Colorado means protecting our national security but it’s clear that the former President – now through his own admission – made this misguided decision for political or personal purposes.”

Hickenlooper, a former Denver mayor and Colorado governor who was elected to the Senate last November, was equally critical of the move.

“Former President Trump has admitted what we already knew: that he made a strictly political decision to move Space Command and completely disregarded both critical national security and budgetary considerations,” he said in a statement. “This is exactly why we’ve called for a review and reconsideration of the decision. We look forward to the Air Force doing just that – looking at what is best for our national security – and making sure Space Command is located where it belongs, in Colorado Springs.”

Suthers told the Colorado Springs Gazette, which first reported on Trump’s comments, that the admission should prompt a reexamination of the decisionmaking process.

“We have maintained throughout the process that the permanent basing decision for US Space Command was not made on merit,” he told the outlet. “The admission by former President Trump that he ‘single-handedly’ directed the move to Huntsville, Alabama, supports our position.”

Space Command was retooled under the Trump administration in late 2019.

The command was created to handle possible threats on US space assets from Russia and China.

Congress has not yet appropriated any funding to move the command and the Pentagon has not officially approved a relocation.