Iraq war veteran and former Marine infantry officer Rep. Seth Moulton is running for president

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Seth Moulton for America

Marine veteran Rep. Seth Moulton has officially jumped into the 2020 presidential race, promising to speak extensively about patriotism, service, and national security as part of his message.

Mouton, who deployed to Iraq four times, is currently a congressman from Massachusetts. He told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on Monday that he has long valued service to the country.

"That's why I joined the Marines," Moulton told Stephanopoulos. "It's why I ran for Congress to try to prevent what I saw got us into Iraq from happening again, and it's why I'm running to take on the most divisive president in American history."


In his campaign's first official video, Moulton says he was inspired by a minister during his time at Harvard University to join the Marine Corps.

"Even in a war I disagreed with, there's nothing I'm more proud of than being a grunt, being on the ground serving with those Marines," he says in the video. "Before I knew it, I was commanding a platoon in the first company of Marines into Baghdad."

Later, Moulton says, he learned that the war was "based on a lie," and decided to run for Congress because both American voters and Marines in Iraq felt betrayed by their government.

"We lost great, brave Americans," he says.

As president, Moulton's priorities would include strengthening cyber defenses to prevent Russia from interfering in U.S. elections again and cutting "massive weapons programs that we don't need."

While speaking in February at the liberal Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, D.C., Moulton gave a preview of where he thinks defense spending can be cut, noting that for the price of a single U.S. aircraft carrier, China could build 1,238 anti-carrier cruise missiles.

"We're investing 16 times more in carriers than in cyber. We need to reexamine that balance," he said on Feb. 12. "We need to ask the same questions of our massive financial commitment to the F-35."

Moulton faces extensive competition from other candidates competing for the Democratic Party's nomination for president in 2020. He is the 19th Democrat to join the race; former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to throw his hat in the ring later this week.

SEE ALSO: These Congressmen Are Fighting To Clear Names Of Marines Abandoned By The Corps

WATCH NEXT: Moulton At The House Armed Services Committee Hearing On Counterterrorism

US Marine Corps

Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."

"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.

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Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Associated Materials. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Associated Materials Incorporated is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.

Associated Materials, a residential and commercial siding and window manufacturer based in Ohio, employs people from a variety of backgrounds. The company gives them an opportunity to work hard and grow within the organization. For Tim Betsinger, Elizabeth Dennis, and Tanika Carroll, all military veterans with wide-ranging experience, Associated Materials has provided a work environment similar to the military and a company culture that feels more like family than work.

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President Donald Trump will nominate Barbara Barrett to serve as the next Air Force secretary, the president announced on Tuesday.

"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force," Trump tweeted. "She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin"

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The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.

"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."

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U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur/Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.

"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."

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