A video showing former President Donald Trump and two serving U.S. Marines that aired at the 2020 Republican National Convention (RNC) has resurfaced amid controversy surrounding President Joe Biden‘s speech on Thursday.
Two uniformed members of the U.S. Marine Corps stood behind Biden as he delivered a prime time speech in Philadelphia where he described Trump and MAGA (Make America Great Again) Republicans as a threat to democracy.
The looks of both Marines quickly became the main topic of criticism from some Republicans and media commentators who expressed concern that active duty personnel could possibly be seen while Biden delivered a speech strongly criticizing political opponents.
Ron Filipkowksi, an ex-Republican lawyer who resigned from his position on circumstances judicial commission following a police raid on a former coronavirus data scientist, shared a video to Twitter on Friday that showed two uniformed marines opening a door for former President Trump and saluting as he passed.
That video had aired at the RNC on August 25, 2020 and was controversial at that time, leading some to criticize Trump for using footage of the marines at a political convention in potential violation of the Defense Department’s longstanding policy against service members taking part in political rallies during uniform.
The footage was from the naturalization ceremony that Trump had attended at the White House and the Marine Corps defended the servicemen’s role, saying they “were at their assigned host to duty.”
“Their official duty would be to assist the president in office; those duties include opening doors for the president,” the Marine Corps said at that time.
“The president held a naturalization ceremony and pardoned a person that have been official White House events,” a White House official said at that time, adding that the events have been publicized and “the campaign made a decision to utilize the publicly available content for campaign purposes. There is no violation of law.”
Filipkowksi’s video have been viewed a lot more than 460,000 times by early Saturday morning.
Controversy on the video in 2020 was remarkably like the anger that is expressed since Biden’s speech on Thursday.
Veteran and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Rieckhoff tweeted on 25 August, 2020: “Utilizing the Marines in this segment is merely the latest exemplory case of Trump shamelessly and damagingly politicizing our military. They’re just political props to him.”
On Thursday evening, CNN anchor Brianna Keilar tweeted: “Anything you consider this speech, the military is meant to be apolitical. Positioning Marines in uniform behind President Biden for a political speech flies when confronted with that. It’s wrong when Democrats take action. It’s wrong when Republicans take action.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended the current presence of the marines on Friday.
“The president gave a significant speech yesterday evening, a crucial speech at an inflection point, and our democracy, our values, our values our women and men who protect us each day and fight for each day have confidence in aswell,” she said.
“It isn’t abnormal, it really is normal, for presidents from either side of the aisle to provide speeches before members of the military,” Jean-Pierre said. “It isn’t a unique sight, it isn’t a unique event to possess happened.”