WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he “will not even consider” renaming Fort Bragg and other military bases.
On Tuesday, US Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper were said to be open to holding a “bipartisan conversation” about renaming nearly a dozen major bases and installations that bear the names of Confederate military commanders, according to an Army official.
The official said that though McCarthy believes he has the potential authority to unilaterally rename the installations, there would need to be consultation with the White House, Congress and state and local governments.
In a statement Monday, the Army confirmed that McCarthy and Esper are “open to a bipartisan discussion on the topic” but added that “each Army installation is named for a soldier who holds a significant place in our military history.”
“Accordingly, the historic names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies,” the statement said.
A defense official told CNN the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley “fully supports the discussion and Secretary McCarthy’s efforts, as the statutory authority, to explore this issue.”
Army installations named after Confederate leaders include Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas and Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia.
In a series of tweets Wednesday, the president said, “It has been suggested that we should rename as many as 10 of our Legendary Military Bases, such as Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Benning in Georgia, etc. These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom. The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations. Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!”
CNN contributed to this article.