Admittedly, VP Kamala Harris did not greet the military escorts; here’s why not
The Associated Press reviews some of the most popular but completely bogus stories and visuals of the week. This one is bogus, even though it has been widely shared on social media. Here are the facts:
CLAIM: Vice President Kamala Harris disrespected the military when she failed to greet military escorts as they boarded Air Force Two on March 19 in Georgia.
FACTS: After Harris wrapped up his trip to Georgia to meet with grieving members of the Asian American community following a mass shooting, social media users began sharing a video of his boarding the Air Force Two, claiming that she had not greeted the troops at the foot of the stairs. .
The video, viewed over 900,000 times on Twitter, was shared widely by conservative social media accounts in an attempt to portray the vice president as unpatriotic and disrespectful to the military.
“DISGRACE: @VP Kamala Harris refuses to greet the honor guard on the steps of the plane. It’s a clear demonstration of his dislike of those who wear the uniform, both law enforcement and military, ”tweeted Bernard Kerik, former New York City Police Commissioner.
Although Harris didn’t salute the troops, she doesn’t have to. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement that there were no instructions or regulations requiring the president or vice president to wave a hand to members of the armed forces.
“Vice President Harris has been very clear in her respect and admiration for the men and women of the military and their families,” Kirby said.
According to army regulations, the president as the commander-in-chief must receive a salute, but there is no requirement that the vice president receive a salute.
“Some are trying to suggest that the vice president is disrespecting our military – that couldn’t be further from the truth,” Sabrina Singh, deputy press secretary to the vice president, said in a statement. In addition, Harris has no responsibility for saluting the troops.
“She has no constitutional authority over them,” Richard Waterman, University of Kentucky presidential historian, said in an email. “Her constitutional function is to be president of the Senate. Saluting the troops would be an act of courtesy, but it is another example of politics as usual in Washington.
This is not the first time that a member of the White House has been criticized for hailing the military. Former President Barack Obama made headlines not once, but twice during his tenure. In 2013, Obama passed a serviceman as he boarded Marine One without a salute, returning moments later to shake hands with the guard. A year later, he made headlines again when he greeted the troops with a cup of coffee in hand as he left Marine One.
Before Obama, critics were also unhappy with former President George W. Bush holding his dog, Barney, as he attempted to greet in 2001. Historians say Ronald Reagan was the first president to greet regularly the troops.