Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall went after Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) for blocking hundreds of military promotions.
“Senator. Tuberville has no military experience. It’s his first time in public service and I don’t think he realizes the impact it has and how negative it is for the military,” Kendall told CNN’s Jim Acosta on Saturday.
Kendall’s comments come as the Alabama senator and former college football coach continues to put promotions on hold to protest the Pentagon’s policy of providing military personnel with paid leave and covering travel expenses for an abortion in another state.
Kendall recently co-authored an editorial for the Washington Post with Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth and Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro in which she referred to sitting officials in roles “without the necessary legal authority to make the decisions that exercise the power of the United States.” States are maintained.” military advantage.”
Tuberville told CNN that he is “not budging,” adding that he wouldn’t go through with the promotions if he thought he was doing “real harm” to the military.
Kendall, who called the blockade “completely unprecedented,” said Tuberville doesn’t understand what is happening and pointed out that the military needs to fill recently vacated positions.
“We have people all over the country who are unable to move to their new organization. This has a huge impact on their families, it is very disruptive and very debilitating,” he said.
“Essentially it’s like throwing a big wrench in the way of the Department of Defense.”
Kendall wasn’t the only harsh critic of Tuberville on Saturday, as retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark also told Acosta that the senator’s tenure was a “national security issue.”
“Not only does it block promotions and deployments and policy changes and preparation for possible war against China and military support for Ukraine in their ongoing war, but it also brings politics into it,” Clark explained.
He continued: “What can be done now? What is normally done is that any federal program that goes to Alabama is shut down and you make it a private matter, you would go to the leadership in the Senate, you would tell Mitch McConnell if you don’t do it If you take action against this, we will take away your programs in Kentucky. It’s hard work.”