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Trump on Renaming Military Bases: ‘Are We Going to Name It After Al Sharpton?’

'Fort Bragg is a big deal. We won two World Wars. No one even knows General Bragg...'

President Donald Trump mocked efforts to rename Fort Bragg and other military bases named after Confederate officers, asking, “We’re going to name it after the Rev. Al Sharpton?”

Fort Bragg, an Army base in North Carolina named after Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg, is one of several military bases that would be required to change its name if the Democrats succeed in pushing the National Defense Authorization Act through Congress.

Senate Republicans have not said whether they’d fight the bill, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did mention earlier this month that he’d “hope the president really wouldn’t veto the bill” if it came down to it.

Trump, however, said that he would veto the bill regardless of what Senate Republicans or military leadership said. 

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“I’m supposed to make the decision,” Trump told Fox News’s Chris Wallace on Sunday. “Fort Bragg is a big deal. We won two World Wars. No one even knows General Bragg. We won two World Wars. Go to that community where Fort Bragg is, in a great state, I love that state, go to the community, say how do you like the idea of renaming Fort Bragg, and then what are we going to name it?”

Trump continued: “We’re going to name it after the Rev. Al Sharpton? What you are going to name it, Chris, tell me what you’re going to name it?”

Sharpton responded to Trump’s jab a few hours later on MSNBC, telling the network that he “appreciated the boost.”

But, the base should really be named “after people that served in the military for this country,” Sharpton added, later calling Trump a “bigot” for threatening to veto the bill.

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“I think that it was failed sarcasm, and I think it was because I’m usually the one that stands up to him on these issues,” Sharpton said on Monday of Trump’s comment. “Why would you want to fight passionately to honor bigots unless it was fine with you? And if bigotry is fine with you, then the noun form of that is that you are a bigot.” 

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