National Security adviser John Kirby went after Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) on Friday for his comments disparaging equal opportunity in the military, saying the senator is “just flat out wrong.”
Tuberville opposed the confirmation of Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. to replace Gen. Mark Milley as the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arguing the military “is not an equal opportunity employer.”
His comments come after Brown encouraged more diversity among military ranks.
“The United States Department of Defense and the military, is, and appropriately is, an equal opportunity employer,” Kirby said in a CNN interview Friday. “It’s because of that diversity, it is because we provide equal opportunities for all Americans to serve their country and defend this country that we are better at doing it.”
“I strongly push back on this idea that the military is not an equal opportunity employer,” he added. “It absolutely is. It should be. It makes you a better, stronger military. He’s just flat-out wrong.”
Tuberville has been the target of major scrutiny as he continues to block the Senate from advancing senior military promotions due to his objections to what he calls “woke” aspects of the military — including policies allowing leave for abortion care.
Despite attempts by Republicans to get Tuberville to back down, the senator has refused. The blockade has forced the Senate to prioritize promotions and vote on confirmations one at a time — instead of bulk voting by unanimous consent, as is tradition.
About 300 promotions have been paused by Tuberville’s blockade.
Brown was confirmed last week in an 83-11 vote — just one week before Milley’s retirement.
Source: The Hill