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Former Fox News contributor calls Trump a 'draft dodger' who is 'playing with our troops'

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Retired US Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters.MSNBC

  • Retired US Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a former Russia analyst, railed against President Donald Trump over his decision to send as many as 15,000 troops to the US-Mexico border, and his anti-immigrant rhetoric.
  • “I want to take the president of the United States seriously,” Peters said to during a CNN interview. “But he manages to be at once an embarrassing fool and insidious menace.”
  • Peters has not been shy about his assessments of presidential administrations from both political parties — in 2015, he was suspended from Fox News for two weeks after calling Obama “a total p—y.”
  • “The president, who in my mind is a draft-dodger, playing with our troops,” Peters said in reference to Trump’s five military deferments. “This idea of sending 15,000 troops to the southern border right now, it’s an election ploy.”
  • Peters questioned Trump’s motives, but he also suggested that the Democrats were partly to blame for the politically-charged debate on the so-called migrant caravan.

Retired US Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, the former Fox News analyst who quit the network in March after calling it a “propaganda machine,” railed against President Donald Trump for his rhetoric and his decision to send as many as 15,000 troops to the US-Mexico border.

“I want to take the president of the United States seriously,” Peters said to CNN host Anderson Cooper during an interview on Thursday. “But he manages to be at once an embarrassing fool and insidious menace … he’s the antithesis of the America that I and my military comrades meant to defend, if necessary, with our lives.”

“He’s an un-American American president,” Peters said.

The former Russia analyst has not been shy about his assessments of presidential administrations from both political parties. In 2015, Peters was suspended from Fox News for two weeks after calling Obama “a total p—y” after a speech he gave on terrorism.

“What bothers me the most about President Trump, and there’s much that bothers me, is [the] absolutely repulsive, repugnant attacks on America, and they are attacks on America, when he constantly criticizes our system of government,” Peters said.

“I just want to stand up and say, ‘No! No! We don’t need you to make America great again,” Peters said, referring to Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

“And to be fair, we didn’t need Obama to apologize for America. This country is great right now. It’s a miracle of a country. It’s imperfect because human beings are imperfect.”

migrant caravanMembers of a US-bound migrant caravan stand on a road after federal police briefly blocked their way outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico.Rodrigo Abd/AP

Peters continued: “We’ve become an ungrateful nation. A nation pointing fingers at each other. A nation divided often over trivialities. We’re forgetting that we’re all Americans. And so that divisiveness … that bothers me the most.”

Peters questioned Trump’s decision to deploy up 15,000 US troops to the US-Mexico border, which the White House claims is in response to caravans of Central American migrants traveling northward.

Critics have pointed out that the migrant caravan is still weeks away from the border, and that the White House’s announcement to deploy thousands of troops comes days before the November 6 midterm election. Political pundits have accused the Trump administration of politicizing the caravan to stir their political base before Election Day.

Peters, like some military veterans, agreed that Trump’s decision was merely a political “stunt” to stoke fears of an immigration crisis.

“The president, who in my mind is a draft-dodger, playing with our troops,” Peters said in reference to Trump’s five military deferments. “This idea of sending 15,000 troops to the southern border right now, it’s an election ploy.”

“When they are manipulated for partisan, political purposes, it literally is disgraceful,” Peters added.

On Thursday, Trump denied that his decision was a political ploy. Speaking to reporters, Trump asserted that migrants were “pouring up into our country” with ease from the border.

“We have no idea who they are,” Trump said. “All we know is they’re pretty tough people when they can blast through the Mexican military and Mexican police. They’re pretty tough people.

Read more: Tucker Carlson interview goes sideways when guest accuses him of defending Putin

But while Peters questioned the president’s motives, he suggested that the Trump administration and the Republican majority in Congress are not solely at fault: “I truly believe that both sides are failing us.”

According to Peters, the far-right “will not admit that we need immigrants, that we thrive on immigrants.”

“We need them to pick crops and we need them to start tech companies,” Peters said. “That’s the life blood, the fresh blood that keeps the country going.”

Nancy Pelosi Chuck SchumerHouse Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York speak to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, March, 13, 2017.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Peters went on to describe the shortcomings from progressives: “At the same time, those on the left need to accept the fact that we have a right to sovereign borders, we have a right to know who’s coming here, and we have a right to select who comes here. We should be generous in our selection. We should be open to legitimate asylum claims, but asylum claims should not become a scam.”

“And meanwhile, real human beings, whether they’re would-be migrants or native-born Americans, are caught in the middle of all this and it is a national disgrace. That’s something we can be ashamed of.”

Peters left Fox News as a longtime contributor in March. Following his departure, he gave a bleak assessment of the conservative network, which has not been coy about aligning itself with the Trump administration.

In an email explaining his decision to his colleagues, Peters wrote he could no longer align himself with a network that “is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit” and “fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers.”

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