A former Marine and current Democratic congressman was among those who walked out of President Donald Trump’s tense State of the Union address on Tuesday, afterwards accusing the commander-in-chief of neglecting America’s military and maligning its service members.
Seth Moulton, a representative from Massachusetts, explained on Twitter that he walked out of the president’s annual speech to Congress when Trump began talking about his “record-breaking” investments and support of the U.S. military.
Moulton, who led one of the first infantry battalions into Baghdad during the 2003 Iraq War, posted on Twitter listing multiple grievances with Trump’s conduct towards the military.
“I left the #SOTU after Trump—a draft dodger who has mocked Sen. John McCain, Gold Star families, and soldiers with traumatic brain injury—started talking about the good he has done for our military,” Moulton wrote.
The president has cast himself as a staunch ally of the U.S. military, and regularly lauds the rise in military spending that has occurred under his stewardship.
During Tuesday’s address, Trump said his administration had “invested a record-breaking $2.2 trillion in the United States military,” which earned him a standing ovation from the Republican side of the hall, plus some members on the Democratic side.
But Trump—who avoided the military draft five times during the Vietnam War, four because he was still in education and one for purported bone spurs in his feet—has attacked veterans and military families when they stand against him. His treatment of late Sen. John McCain is perhaps the most well-known example.