Trump's former national security advisor calls his defense bill veto 'a shameful last act of a failed presidency'

  • President Donald Trump vetoed the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday over unrelated issues like social media laws, among other things.
  • Former White House National Security Advisor John Bolton wrote on Twitter that it was the "shameful last act of a failed presidency."
  • Trump has used his veto authority a number of times during his presidency without challenge, but Congress may override this one.
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President Donald Trump's former national security advisor sharply condemned his decision to veto the defense spending bill Wednesday/

Making good on repeated threats to do so, Trump vetoed the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, a $741 billion defense bill that funds the Department of Defense and had passed both chambers of Congress with strong bipartisan support.

He vetoed the NDAA over unrelated issues such as social media protection laws. The president also objected to efforts by Congress to rename military bases named after Confederate leaders.

"My Administration recognizes the importance of the Act to our national security," Trump said in a statement on the decision to veto the bill.

"Unfortunately," the president continued, "the Act fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military's history, and contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions. It is a 'gift' to China and Russia."

John Bolton, who was ousted from his position in the White House in 2019 over disagreements with the Trump, wrote on Twitter Wednesday that the veto is a "shameful last act of a failed presidency."

In his tweet, Bolton appeared to be making a reference to the suspected Russian hack of numerous federal government departments and agencies via a compromised contractor.

While members of the Trump administration have said that the attack appears to have been carried out by Russia, Trump has been hesitant to point fingers at Moscow.

Trump's veto of the defense bill sets up a clash with Congress, which passed the NDAA with a veto-proof majority. The president is already facing pushback from both sides of the aisle, including from senior Republican lawmakers.

"The NDAA has become law every year for 59 years straight because it's absolutely vital to our national security and our troops," Sen. Jim Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, tweeted Wednesday afternoon. "This year must not be an exception."

He added that he hopes his colleagues in Congress will join him "in making sure our troops have the resources and equipment they need to defend this nation."

Trump has used his veto authority a number of times during the course of his presidency, and he has done so without challenge. The latest veto may be the first one that Congress overrides.

The House and Senate are scheduled to return after Christmas and hold a vote to override the veto.

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