Veteran Leaders React To Trump Adviser Calling For Clinton To Be Executed For Treason

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FILE - In this May 31, 2016, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens at left as Al Baldasaro, a New Hampshire state representative, speaks during a news conference in New York. Baldasaro said on a Boston radio program on July 19 that Hillary Clinton should be “put in the firing line and shot for treason,” over the Benghazi, Libya, attacks that killed four Americans.
AP Photo by Richard Drew

New Hampshire State Rep. Al Baldasaro made national headlines July 20 when he said on “the Jeff Kuhner Show,” a conservative radio program, that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”


Baldasaro is a retired Marine first sergeant and an advisor to the Donald Trump campaign on veterans issues.

In an interview later in the day with NH1, Baldasaro doubled down on his remarks.

“I’m a veteran. And any other veteran that had a server of classified information, people’s names and things like that, you’re putting other veterans life in danger, and state department workers, special forces, CIA or whatever, in danger,” Baldasaro said. “That’s treason. My military mind believes it’s treason. Once you’re found guilty, normally it’s a firing squad. You know that was just my opinion, I mean, as a veteran.”

Baldasaro also said, “I was a veteran long before I was a Republican and I stand by what I said and I’m not changing my views.”

But now, veteran leaders are uniting to condemn such rhetoric.

“In light of recent shooting incidents, this rhetoric is toxic and irresponsible,” Paul Rieckhoff, the founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told Task & Purpose.

“Especially from a veteran leader,” Rieckhoff added. “No campaign should condone this.”

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, also condemned the remark in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN.

“That’s not in keeping with the best traditions of American politics. We have opponents, we have adversaires, we don’t have enemies in American politics, though, so I can’t agree with that kind of rhetoric.”

When asked specifically by Tapper if he condemned the rhetoric, Cotton said, “That kind of rhetoric has no place in our politics.”

Task & Purpose also reached out to Bill Rausch, a U.S. Army vet and the executive director of Got Your 6, a nonprofit that works to foster accurate portrayals of veterans. Rauch is in Cleveland, Ohio, for the Republican National Convention.

“There's no place in politics for talk about putting your opponents in front of a firing squad,” Rausch said. “It goes against the ethos of every person who raised their right hand and swore to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States. We’re calling on the campaign to condemn it immediately."

For its part, the Trump campaign, through its spokesperson Hope Hicks, told NH1, “We’re incredibly grateful for his support, but we don’t agree with his comments.”

The U.S. Secret Service, which provides protection to Clinton, is investigating Baldasaro after the remark, according to the Daily Beast.

Two Air Force pararescue Airmen were awarded the Silver Star Medal on Friday for saving dozens of lives during separate Afghan battles in 2018 and 2019.

Tech Sgt. Gavin Fisher and Staff Sgt. Daniel Swensen both received the third highest military award for their bravery. Fisher also received the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews the honor guards of the Chinese People's Liberation (PLA) Navy before boarding the destroyer Xining for the naval parade celebrating the 70th founding anniversary of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in Qingdao, Shandong province, China April 23, 2019. Xinhua via REUTERS

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The newspaper reported on Sunday that one of the two Chinese officials is believed to be an intelligence officer operating under diplomatic cover.

The Chinese officials breached security at a base in Virginia this fall, and only stopped driving after fire trucks were used to block their path, the Times said.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

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Photo: National Archives

Thomas Hoke can still recall the weather in December 1944, and the long days that followed.

The battle started on Dec. 16, but his company arrived Dec. 27 and would stay there until the battle's end, nearly a month later. By the time he arrived, snow had blanketed Germany in what was one of the biggest storms the country had seen in years.

"It was 20 below and a heavy fog encompassed the whole area," Hoke, 96, recalled from his Emmitsburg home.

The fog was to Germany's advantage because Allied aircraft were grounded, including recognizance flights, allowing the Nazis to slip in.

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West Point is investigating a hand gesture made by several cadets and midshipmen during an ESPN pre-game broadcast at the Army-Navy game Saturday after clips of the signals went viral because of their association with white power.

"West Point is looking into the matter," a spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "At this time we do not know the intent of the cadets."

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