Washington, D.C. — This week, President Donald Trump faced renewed scrutiny for threatening protesters who gathered to hold demonstrations around the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Park, saying those who attempted to deface it would be “met with serious force” and “long-term jail sentences.” This comes weeks after President Trump ordered federal authorities to violently disband peaceful protesters gathered in Lafayette Park following the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor so that he could pose for a photo outside St. John’s Church across from the White House. At the time, Trump was flanked by White House aides, Attorney General William Barr, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, who was dressed in combat fatigues.
Images like this caused Ron Filipkowski, a Republican and Marine veteran from Sarasota, Florida, to speak out against President Trump in a new video by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. As Filipkowski says in the video, President Trump’s politicization of the military and his authoritarian tendencies are dangerous to our democracy.
“I’ve had the traditional, sort of conservative, Republican background—serving in the military, serving in law enforcement,” says Filipkowski. “Trump has [a] very strong, authoritarian streak to him. He has repeatedly used the military for political purposes. I believe in the First Amendment and people’s right to free expression. That’s why I fear for the country.”
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