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Trump vows veto of bill changing Confederate base names

ajc.com

President Donald Trump is digging in his heels against efforts in the Congress to have the U.S. military change the names of installations which honor generals and leaders of the Confederacy, as the President said he would veto any bill containing such a provision in order to defend the cultural heritage of the South.

In a tweet, the President named Fort Bragg in North Carolina, and Fort Lee in Virginia, as examples of the base names which he wants to leave in place, arguing the memorials to Confederate generals should not be changed.

"I will veto the Defense Authorization Bill," the President wrote on Twitter just before midnight on Tuesday night.

That yearly defense policy bill contains a bipartisan provision which gives the Pentagon the go-ahead to change names like Fort Bragg, Fort Benning, and other facilities named for Confederate leaders.

"Is Donald Trump running to be the President of the Confederacy or what?" said Democratic strategist Jim Manley.

On the Senate floor Wednesday, Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) scoffed at the President's threat.

"This is typical bluster from President Trump," Schumer said, predicting the President would not veto the defense bill because of all of the needed Pentagon provisions.

The President's veto threat comes as the Navy and Marine Corps have already said they would remove displays of the Confederate flag from any of their bases.

"Trump is on the wrong & racist side of history," tweeted Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA).

"Bill after bill with billions - even trillions - in spending, he won’t veto," said Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI). "But removing the names of treasonous Confederate generals, he won’t stand for that."

While President Trump has repeatedly made public statements against the idea of taking down Confederate statues, that keeps happening here and there across the South.

The latest monument came down Tuesday night in Rockdale County, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta.

That monument was put up in 1913.

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