Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after President Trump announced his intention to invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the armed services across the country in response to protests of George Floyd’s murder.

“As we battle two pandemics at once – the COVID-19 virus, and the scourge of racism – President Trump’s decision to invoke the Insurrection Act, and his inflammatory rhetoric, proves that he cannot lead us through these tumultuous times and unite the country. Instead, he has decided to rely on the use of force to address those who he views as a threat.

“Rather than trying to calm tensions in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Trump has used inflammatory rhetoric, inciting violence against fellow Americans who are protesting. Rather than leading the national conversation about the need to reform our policing practices and address underlying inequalities, Trump has labeled protestors as ‘thugs’ and threatened them, using the language of segregationists.

“The domestic deployment of our armed services is an incredibly serious undertaking that should not be taken lightly. It is un-American to use our service members to ‘dominate’ civilians, as both the President and Secretary of Defense have suggested. We live in a democracy, not a dictatorship.

“I urge President Trump to reverse course and use the full weight of the presidency to calm tensions across the country, not escalate them. It simply doesn’t have to be this way.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement today in response to President Trump’s announcement that he is withdrawing the United States from the World Health Organization:

“President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the World Health Organization is short-sighted and dangerous. The United States should continue its role as a leader on the world stage, including within international institutions like the WHO, to advance policies and foster coordination that protects public health at home and abroad.

“This global pandemic is not confined by borders – we must work together since the far-reaching impacts from COVID-19 can be felt across the world. Leaving the WHO will damage our nation's standing as a world leader and put the American people more at risk.

“While I still believe there is room for improvement at the WHO, I strongly oppose withdrawing the United States’ membership and I am committed to protecting our country and strengthening our global leadership during this pandemic.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement today after President Trump signed an executive order targeting legal protections for social media companies:

“This executive order distorts the concept of free speech in a blatant attempt to coerce social media companies into moderating content in a way that benefits the President. This effort flies in the face of the principle of free speech upon which our nation was founded. The First Amendment is not, as the President would like to believe, a tool for the government to use to police speech and suppress opposition. There are many legitimate arguments about how and whether to regulate social media companies and online platforms, but the President cannot simply weaponize executive power because he is displeased by how a social media company responded to him spreading disinformation. This assault on freedom of expression is taken straight from the authoritarian playbook and only further proves this administration’s ceaseless corruption.

“As we mourn the loss of more than 100,000 Americans from COVID-19, this President is more focused on silencing his critics than guiding our country through one of the greatest challenges we have ever faced. Ultimately, this unlawful executive order is yet another attempt to distract the American people from President Trump’s failed leadership.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement on Memorial Day:

“This Memorial Day, it is especially important to remember the sacrifices the men and women who have served in the armed forces for our country have made. Memorial Day is a day to honor all who made the ultimate sacrifice – those who gave their lives in service to their country.

“As we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic across the country and around the world, leadership, sacrifice, and the willingness to put the needs of others first have never been more important. Nobody understands this sacrifice better than the families of the women and men who have given their lives in service.

“Memorial Day should always be a solemn time to reflect, but it shouldn't be the only day we remember that sacrifice. Today and every day, we honor the women and men who gave everything to protect our freedom. Thank you to all servicemembers and their families, and let us never take for granted all they do to protect our country.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, and Eliot L Engel (D-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, this week denounced the Trump Administration’s plans to illegally withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty. In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, the lawmakers pressed that this scheme will endanger U.S. national security and empower Russia.
 
“We offered on several occasions to work closely with you and others in the Administration on the future of the Open Skies Treaty and other critical national security issues. Yet these overtures were ignored and now you are flouting legal requirements to consult and notify Congress.  It appears that short-sighted interests and partisan politics prevailed over reason and good foreign policy. This is a regrettable decision that will have lasting consequences. We will continue to press this Administration and hold it accountable to ensure decisions are made with the best interest of the American people, and our allies and partners, in mind,” wrote the lawmakers.
 
The full text of the letter can be found here.
 
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