On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., used the deaths of seven U.S. Marines at an ammunition depot in Hawthorne, Nevada to politicize the sequester cuts. But NBC military correspondent Jim Miklaszewski said that the Marines Corps is not happy with Reid and accused him of "political posturing," The Blaze reported.
The explosion that took the Marines' lives occurred during a training exercise that was planned well in advance.
But Reid decided to use the incident to score political points over the sequester.
"Mr. President, it’s very important we continue training our military, so important. But one of the things in sequester is we cut back in training and maintenance. That’s the way sequester was written. Now, the bill that’s on the floor, we hope to pass today helps that a little bit," he said.
"At least in the next six months, it allows the military some degree of ability to move things around a little bit. Flexibility, we call it, and that’s good. But we have to be very vigilant. This sequester should go away. We have cut already huge amounts of money in deficit reduction. It’s just not appropriate, Mr. President, that our military can’t train and do the maintenance necessary," he added.
"These men and women, our Marines were training there in Hawthorne. And with this sequester, it’s going to cut back. I just hope everyone understands the sacrifices made by our military. They are significant, being away from home, away from families, away from their country," Reid said.
But Miklaszewski said during an interview on MSNBC that Marine Corps officials took "strong exception" to Reid's implication. Officials also said the incident has nothing to do with the budget cuts.
"There were no corners cut, and if they couldn't afford to have all the safety precautions into place, they wouldn't do the exercise," he was told by Marine officials.
“There were no corners cut. And if they couldn’t afford to have all the safety precautions into place, they wouldn’t do the exercise. And in fact, one Marine Corps told us just, one Marine Corps official told us a short time ago that he considers this nothing but pure political posturing on the backs of these dead Marines,” he added.
“Those are some very strong words from the Marine Corps about Senator Harry Reid,” NBC's Luke Russert said.
Video of Reid's comments can be seen here.
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