Former President Donald Trump said Thursday the Joint Chiefs of Staff should be fired for their incompetence if they really believe climate change is the top threat the United States faces.
Trump’s statement came in response to remarks President Joe Biden made to American forces at Royal Air Force Mildenhall in Suffolk, England, the previous day.
Biden referenced an assessment about the threat caused by climate change he said the Joint Chiefs of Staff offered while he was serving as vice president during the Obama administration.
“You know, when I went over in the Tank in the Pentagon, when I first was elected Vice President, with President [Barack] Obama, the military sat us down to let us know what the greatest threats facing America were — the greatest physical threats,” Biden said, according to the official White House transcript of his remarks.
“And this is not a joke: You know what the Joint Chiefs told us the greatest threat facing America was? Global warming.
“Because there’ll be significant population movements, fights over land, millions of people leaving places because they’re literally sinking below the sea in Indonesia; because of the fights over what is arable land anymore.”
In a Thursday statement, Trump responded, “Biden just said that he was told by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Climate Change is our greatest threat. If that is the case, and they actually said this, he ought to immediately fire the Joint Chiefs of Staff for being incompetent!”
Trump blasts Joint Chiefs of Staff in new statement after Biden claims they told him “climate change” is the biggest threat to America:
“If that is the case, and they actually said this, he ought to immediately fire the Joint Chiefs of Staff for being incompetent!” pic.twitter.com/EcLWCC3kXk
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 10, 2021
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley made clear during a congressional testimony on Thursday he does not believe climate change is the greatest military threat facing the United States.
“Climate change is a threat. Climate change has significant impact on military operations, and we have to take it into consideration,” Milley told GOP Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota when questioned about Biden’s statement.
“But the president is looking at it at a much broader angle than I am,” the general added.
“I’m looking at it from a strictly military standpoint. And from a strictly military standpoint, I’m putting China, Russia up there. That is not, however, in conflict with the acknowledgment that climate change, or infrastructure or education systems” play a role in national security, Milley said.
Cramer replied, “I just think it’s peculiar that the president would go to another continent and tell our service members there that the number one threat is climate change, albeit a threat.”
Biden is in Great Britain to attend the G7 summit, which is taking place this week.