U.S. Admiral Slams Trump For Recent Comments

A retired US Admiral has lashed out at Donald Trump for describing January 6 prisoners as “hostages.” James Stavridis, a former NATO commander, said he understands the true meaning of the word “hostage,” and it does not apply to “convicted felons.”

The former President has referred to those jailed following riots on Capitol Hill in 2021 as “hostages” numerous times, but at a rally in Dayton, Ohio, recently, Mr. Trump appeared to go a step further. Before the Republican Presidential candidate took to the stage, an announcer said, “Please rise for the horribly and unfairly treated January 6 hostages,” while Mr. Trump saluted. The crowd remained standing as a choir performed a rendition of “Justice for All” featuring Donald Trump reciting the pledge of allegiance.

During his subsequent speech, Mr. Trump, who leads President Biden in many polls, said January 6 prisoners had been treated “terribly and very unfairly,” before once again describing them as “hostages.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence condemned Trump’s remarks, calling them “very unfortunate.” Pence told CNN that the use of the phrase “hostages” is highly inappropriate, given that Americans are currently being held hostage by the Hamas terrorist group in the Middle East. “It’s just unacceptable,” he added.

Mr. Pence has furthermore confirmed that he will not support his ex-boss’s bid for a second White House term, saying Trump has veered away from conservative principles such as fiscal responsibility, and the sanctity of life.

President Trump is not alone in his belief that January 6 prisoners are unjustly detained. New York Rep. and Trump ally Elise Stefanik made similar remarks during an interview in January. “I have concerns about the treatment of January 6 hostages,” she said. Her comments drew criticism from Democrat Jamie Raskin, who sat on the January 6 Congressional investigation committee.

Writing on Twitter, Mr. Raskin called on Stefanik to apologize to the families of the 130 people held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.