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‘Embarrassed’ Gaetz Slams Defense Sec. for Hosting Socialist Speaker

'And so I guess I'm wondering what in the $773B that you're requesting today is going to help you make assessments that are accurate in the face of so many blown calls... '

(John RansomHeadline USA) Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., took Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to task over a recent speech made by French socialist Thomas Picketty at the National Defense University.

“Why should American taxpayers fund lectures at the National Defense University that promote socialism as a strategy to combat China?,” asked Gaetz about the Picketty lecture, according to Red Voice Media, during a meeting over the 2023 defense budget.

Picketty is well known for his book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” a call for wealth redistribution in the United States, a favorite topic of French socialists. The book was a bestseller that one reviewer called almost impossible to pick up, once you put it down for the first time.

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The university had touted Picketty’s lecture, highlighting his argument “that the right answer lies in ending Western arrogance and promoting a new emancipatory and egalitarian horizon on a global scale, a new form of democratic and participatory ecological and post-colonial socialism.”

When Austin said that as Secretary of Defense he wouldn’t necessarily know of the curricula approved by the National Defense University, Gaetz said that perhaps he should have known so that the Defense Department doesn’t “invite people we don’t agree with to evangelize views and values that we don’t share,” according to the Independent.

“Mr Secretary, you guys told us that Russia couldn’t lose. You told us that the Taliban couldn’t immediately win,” Gaetz said.

“And so I guess I’m wondering what in the $773 billion that you’re requesting today is going to help you make assessments that are accurate in the face of so many blown calls.”

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Gaetz accused the military of being too interested in “wokeism” and not defense, said CNN.

“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,” Austin said.

“Not if we continue down this path. Not if we continue to embrace socialism,” Gaetz charged.

“The fact that you’re embarrassed by your country, by your military. I’m sorry for that,” Austin shot back.

“Oh no, I’m embarrassed for your leadership,” Gaetz responded. “I am not embarrassed for my country.”

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