WASHINGTON (AP) – The openly gay first secretary of the U.S. Army said Wednesday that he supports Joe Biden for president, in the most recent support that the Democratic candidate receives from a former official of President Donald Trump, whom he criticized for the response. that he gave to the demonstrations against racism.
Eric Fanning, who held various civilian positions in the Navy and Air Force and was Secretary of the Army from 2016 to 2017, during the Trump presidency, highlighted Biden’s “empathy” and “integrity” in his relations with the military. .
“The next president faces a monumental task: repairing our damaged democracy and our eroded moral leadership in the world,” said Fanning. “I know that (ex) Vice President Biden will be a commander-in-chief who leads the world’s most extraordinary armed forces by upholding their values.”
Fanning highlighted Biden’s support for gays and lesbians, and his leadership in repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule, which allowed them to review the military without hiding. He recalled the graduation speech at West Point Military Academy four years ago and how the then Vice President praised the class president, Captain EJ Coleman, who had recently revealed that he was gay.
Fanning was among 89 exalted defense officials who published a political column in opposition to Trump’s threat to send troops to quell protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell endorsed Biden last week. Former Trump Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and others have criticized Trump’s leadership. The retired military is usually sparing in expressing political positions.
The politicization of the armed forces has increased tensions between Trump and the Pentagon. Both Defense Secretary Mark Esper and the current Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, have distanced themselves from the President regarding the protests.