Hillary Clinton calls Trump’s budget a ‘grave mistake’

Posted at 12:29 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 12:29:44-04

Hillary Clinton again waded into politics Friday, months after losing the 2016 election, by slamming President Donald Trump’s proposed budget blueprint at Georgetown University.

“(It) should alarm us all,” Clinton said of the document which proposed deep domestic spending cuts and increased military spending.

The former secretary of state, who has recently begun to engage more directly in political fights, said the proposed cuts — which include steep reductions to foreign aid — would be a “grave mistake.”

“We are seeing signals of a shift that should alarm us all. This administration’s proposed cuts to international health, development and diplomacy would be a blow to women and children and a grave mistake for our country,” Clinton said.

Clinton, speaking at an event honoring women who contributed to the recent peace process between the Columbia government and the FARC, went on to reference a letter from 120 retired generals who urged Trump not to make major cuts to diplomacy and foreign aid.

“These distinguished women and men who have served in uniform recognize that turning our back on diplomacy won’t make our country safer; it will undermine our security and our standing in the world,” Clinton said.

The letter from former three- and four-star generals included Retired Gen. David Petraeus, a former CIA director, and retired Adm. James Stavridis, the former NATO supreme allied commander.

“The State Department, USAID, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Peace Corps and other development agencies are critical to preventing conflict and reducing the need to put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way,” the generals wrote.

The Trump administration released a budget “wish list” in February that increased defense spending by $54 billion and cut the same amount from non-defense discretionary spending, including 13% from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 31% from the Environmental Protection Agency and 28% from the State Department.

While it is unlikely that this budget will get approved by Congress — both Democrats and Republicans have already rejected aspects of the proposal — the budget was a clear sign that the Trump administration plans to make good on their pledge to remake the federal government.

White House officials said in February that the budget assumes “the rest of the world to step up in some of the programs this country has been so generous in funding” over the years.

Clinton, seemingly enjoying be back in the spotlight after November’s election, relished the fawning attention she received from Georgetown students. Walking in, Clinton was showered with chants of “Hillary, Hillary.”

“Thank you. Wow, let’s do that again,” she joked.

Later in the speech, Clinton noted how she is once again speaking about “evidence” and “facts,” a subtle knock on a Trump administration that has been critiqued for its relationship to the truth.

While speaking about women and peace processes, Clinton called the notion women are more peaceful than men a “stereotype.”

“That is a stereotype, that belongs in the alternative reality,” Clinton said, emphasizing the “alternative” in an apparent knock against top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, who argued early in Trump’s tenure that the White House was presenting “alternative facts.”