Trump Will ‘Not Even Consider’ Renaming Bases Named After Confederate Leaders

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

President Trump will not cave to mounting pressure to rename military bases named after former Confederate leaders, he said in a series of tweets Wednesday.

“It has been suggested that we should rename as many as 10 of our Legendary Military Bases, such as Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Benning in Georgia, etc. These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom,” Trump tweeted.

He continued: “The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”

“Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!” Trump concluded.

Axios reports the decision came after Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said he would be open to discussing a possible name change for bases like Fort Bragg and Fort Benning:

Why it matters: A spokesperson for Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said on Monday he’s open to a “bipartisan discussion” about renaming the military bases and facilities that are named after Confederate leaders, including Fort Bragg and Fort Benning.

  • The debate comes as the Navy and Marines have moved to ban the display of Confederate-era symbols.

  • A number of states and cities around the country have also taken steps to remove Confederate-era symbols amid racial unrest over the police killing of George Floyd.

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Fox News adds:

A senior Army official told Fox News on Monday that McCarthy did not plan to change the names unilaterally, but instead will seek bipartisan support to do so. U.S. Army installations named after Confederate generals include Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

“We must recognize history is important, but we must come together and have some sort of open discussion about race,” the official said, adding: “This week highlighted the need to start understanding those feelings, and the Army secretary is open to considering changing the names of these bases named for Confederate generals.”

At least 10 Army installations are named after Confederate military commanders, including Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Previous calls to rename them have been dismissed on the grounds that doing so would go against tradition.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would immediately begin the process of removing nearly a dozen Confederate statues in the House Rotunda or Capitol Visitor Center.