Nikki Haley Rips Defense Department Amid Tommy Tuberville Blockade: It 'Started This'

The GOP presidential candidate later went after the senator as she declared that using military families as “political pawns” is a “mistake.”

GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley took aim at the Defense Department for beginning a policy at the center of Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) hold on 300-plus military promotions in the Senate. (Check out Haley’s remarks in the video below.)

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, the former South Carolina governor said the department “never should have done” the policy that reimburses service members who travel to get an abortion in another state, which is what Tuberville is protesting with his holds.

“I disagree with it and I’ll put an end to it as president. You have to go through Congress,” Haley added on Sunday’s edition of “State of the Union.”

“We have three branches of government for a reason. You can’t slip something in there like that and think that Congress is not gonna be upset. So, first, I’ll put an end to that and you’ll handle it through the proper channels,” she said.

Haley later went after Tuberville as she declared that using military families as “political pawns” is a “mistake.”

The secretaries of the Air Force, Army and Navy criticized Tuberville’s blockade last week in an opinion piece for The Washington Post.

Tuberville recently told CNN that he isn’t “budging” on his protest while declaring that if he was “really harming” the military he wouldn’t hold the promotions.

In Sunday’s interview, Haley proposed that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) could hold a vote on each military member before Tapper interjected, noting that the Senate typically votes unanimously on a group of people to receive promotions.

“You think the military is political now, you really want to have the U.S. Senate voting on somebody being promoted to major, to lieutenant colonel, to colonel, to admiral?” Tapper asked.

“Well, if you’re going to talk about tradition, shouldn’t Department of Defense do things the right way, so we’re never in this mess to start with?” Haley responded.

She continued: “Lets, I mean, let’s call it like we see it. Department of Defense started this. I’m not saying Sen. Tuberville is right in doing this, because I don’t want to use them as pawns. But if you love our military, if you are so adamant about it, then go and make Congress — Republicans and Democrats — have to go through person by person. Do you honestly think they won’t say, ‘OK, this is ridiculous, let’s put an end to it?’”

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