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‘What Side Is Matt On?’: Gaetz Pummeled for Calling Defense Secretary ‘You Guys,’ Complaining About Military ‘Wokeism’



U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), one of the increasingly pro-Putin Republicans on Capitol Hill, is being pummeled on social media after attacking Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin over “wokeism,” while, some say, appearing to be siding with a foreign power, namely Russia.

“You guys said that, that Russia would overrun Ukraine in 36 days,” Gaetz shouted at the Secretary of Defense, who is currently managing the U.S. response to Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine.

“You totally blew those calls,” Gaetz added during a House Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday. Some on social media commented to them it seemed like he was disappointed Russia has not been more successful in Ukraine.

“Maybe we would be better at them if the National Defense University worked a little more on strategy and a little less on wokeism,” Gaetz said, charging the nation’s first African American Secretary of Defense.

Gaetz is apparently referring to efforts Secretary Austin made to combat extremism in the U.S. Military.

In early 2021, after the January 6 insurrection, Secretary Austin issued a memo “directing commanding officers and supervisors at all levels … to conduct a one-day ‘stand-down’ on this issue with their personnel.”

He called it an effort to “eliminate the corrosive effects that extremist ideology and conduct have on the workforce.”

Secretary Austin, a retired Army four-star general, also served as the Commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM), the Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army, and the Director of the Joint Staff.

Austin responded to Gaetz’s atttack by saying: “Has it occurred to you that Russia has not overrun Ukraine because of what we’ve done? And our allies have done? Have you ever even thought about that?”

On social media Gaetz was pummeled. Some noted his hypocrisy of attacking Sec. Austin while having voted against military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.


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