Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) got into a heated argument during the HOuse Armed Services hearing.
Gaetz accused the Pentagon of “wokeism” in the military and not defense.
According to CNN, Austin claimed Gaetz was questioning the US military’s capabilities, saying he appeared to be “embarrassed for his country.” The two even reached shouting level. Austin said, “this is the most capable, most combat critical force in the world, it has been and it will be so going forward, and this budget helps us to do that.”
Gaetz responded, “Not if we continue down this path. Not if we continue to embrace socialism.” Austin said, “The fact that you’re embarrassed by your country, by your military. I’m sorry for that.” Gaetz retaliated with, “Oh no, I’m embarrassed for your leadership. I am not embarrassed for my country.”
Gaetz outlined a lecture from National Defense University on socialism, arguing the US had fallen behind China on hypersonic weapons. Austin asked how he determined this, to which Gaetz responded, “Your own people brief us on what we’re behind and China is winning.”
CNN had previously reported that the US successfully tested a hypersonic missile in March but had chosen to conceal this intel to avoid escalating tensions with Russia. The US has since suffered a setback with system failures, while China and Russia have supposedly seen success in this area.
ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: TALKING POINTS MEMO