Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he felt President Obama “double-crossed” him during his tenure over budget cuts to the Pentagon.
In a Fox News report Friday that explored the president’s approach to the military, Gates said Obama had promised him that there wouldn’t be any “significant changes” in the defense budget for a while.
According to the report, Gates was told to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the defense budget after already having slashed it.
“I guess I’d have to say I felt double-crossed,” Gates said. “After all those years in Washington, I was naïve.”
The former defense secretary added that he advised Obama to slow the cuts to the military because it would endanger U.S. troops.
“I think he acknowledged that what I was pitching at a minimum was, ‘The world doesn’t seem to be getting better. Before you head down a path of deep cuts in defense, why don’t you take it kind of slow,’ ” he said. “You know it was one of those things where I lost the argument.”
Fox also spoke with former Gen. Michael Flynn, who served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under Obama.
“Frankly, the United States of America is in a less strong position today because of the readiness and the size of our armed forces,” Flynn said.
“I think he sees the military actually as something that is more dangerous to the world,” Flynn added. “I think that he looks at the United States military and sees it as a threatening application around the world, than actually as a useful tool.”