Trump VETOES major defense bill he calls 'a "gift" to China & Russia' setting up showdown with Congress to override him

DONALD Trump has vetoed a major defense bill and called it a "gift" to China and Russia.

The president announced his decision in a lengthy letter on Wednesday, saying the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) "fails to include critical national security measures."



Potus confirmed he was returning H.R. 6395, the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2021 "without" his approval because he claimed it went against national security interests.

Trump said his "administration recognizes the importance of the Act to our national security," but argued that the bill didn't include key protective measures for the USA.

He said it failed to "include critical national security measures" and had "provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military's history."

"It is a 'gift' to China and Russia," he raged – but Nancy Pelosi described his veto as "an act of staggering recklessness" as she vowed Congress would override it on December 28.

He wrote that it also "contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions.

It is a 'gift' to China and Russia,

Trump went on: "No one has worked harder, or approved more money for the military, than I have – over $2 trillion. 

"During my [four] years, with the support of many others, we have almost entirely rebuilt the United States military, which was totally depleted when I took office. 

"Your failure to terminate the very dangerous national security risk of Section 230 will make our intelligence virtually impossible to conduct without everyone knowing what we are doing at every step.

TECH ISSUES

Trump said it didn't "contain any meaningful changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, despite bipartisan calls for repealing that provision."

This section facilitates the spread of foreign disinformation online, which Trump noted "is a serious threat to our national security and election integrity."

GOP Sen Lindsay Graham previously indicated that Trump would sign a hard-fought $900billion stimulus relief bill and NDAA but only if Section 230 was repealed.

During the internet's infancy, it was brought in to give platforms legal immunity for content posted by people using their service, i.e. third party users.

He doubled down on this after Trump vetoed the bill, saying: "Congress should vote to Repeal Section 230 as requested by" the president.

"I will not vote to override presidential veto unless effort is made to wind down Section 230," he said.

Some GOP lawmakers like Sen Ted Cruz of Texas claimed tech giants like Twitter, Facebook and Google are silencing conservative voices, which is a point of contention for Trump.



After Nancy Pelosi sided with Trump's demands for $2,000 stimulus checks instead of $600 for individuals, Graham called on her to support Trump blasting Section 230.

"I hope Speaker Pelosi will agree with President Trump that Big Tech needs to be reined in by winding down Section 230 liability protections," he wrote.

"Big Tech needs to be reined in by winding down Section 230 liability protections.

"I have reason to believe this combination will lead to President Trump supporting the NDAA and COVID19 omnibus bills."

Graham is the chair of the Senate judiciary committee and he introduced legislation to end Section 230 protections on January 1 2023 in an effort to break up, regulate, or litigate tech giants.

'FOUGHT, BLED, & DIED'

In his veto letter, Trump also slammed the "language" the bill used to require the renaming of military bases following months of protests over police brutality and systemic racism.

"My Administration respects the legacy of the millions of American servicemen and women who have served with honor at these military bases, and who, from these locations, have fought, bled, and died for their country," he wrote.

"From these facilities, we have won two World Wars. I have been clear in my opposition to politically motivated attempts like this to wash away history and to dishonor the immense progress our country has fought for in realizing our founding principles."

Trump slammed the Act for restricting "the President's ability to preserve our Nation's security by arbitrarily limiting the amount of military construction funds that can be used to respond to a national emergency."

"In a time when adversaries have the means to directly attack the homeland, the President must be able to safeguard the American people without having to wait for congressional authorization," he added.

"The Act also contains an amendment that would slow down the rollout of nationwide 5G, especially in rural areas."

Trump concluded that too many provisions in it "directly contradict my Administration's foreign policy, particularly my efforts to bring our troops home."

He said he opposed "endless wars, as does the American public."

Trump then blamed bipartisan objections for the bill in question trying to stop him from withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, Germany, and South Korea and said this was unconstitutional. 

Touting Article II of the Constitution naming the President as the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, Trump said he had the executive power to bring troops home.

"The Congress may not arrogate this authority to itself directly or indirectly as purported spending restrictions," he said.

"For all of these reasons, I cannot support this bill. My Administration has taken strong actions to help keep our Nation safe and support our service members.  

"I will not approve this bill, which would put the interests of the Washington DC establishment over those of the American people."

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