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Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) rebuked President Trump at the Democratic National Convention for not confronting Vladimir Putin over intelligence reports that alleged Russia paid the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Why it matters: Duckworth, an Army veteran who lost her legs in the Iraq War, sought to draw a sharp contrast between Trump and Biden, whose son Beau was deployed to Iraq, on the issues of national security and protecting U.S. troops.

What she's saying: "Joe Biden understands the sacrifices because he has made them himself. When his son Beau deployed to Iraq, his burden was also shouldered by his family. Joe knows the fear military families live because he's felt that dread never knowing if your deployed loved one is safe," Duckworth said.

  • "That is the kind of leader our service members deserve, one who understands the risks they face and who would actually protect them by doing his job as commander-in-chief. Instead, they have a coward-in-chief who won't stand up to Vladimir Putin, read his intelligence briefings, or even publicly admonish adversaries for reportedly putting bounties on our troops' heads."
  • "As president, Joe Biden would never let tyrants manipulate him like a puppet. He would never pervert our military to stroke his own ego. He would never turn his back on our troops, or threaten them on Americans peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights."

The bottom line: "Donald Trump doesn't deserve to call himself commander-in-chief for another four minutes, let alone another four years," Duckworth concluded. "Our troops deserve better. Our country deserves better."

Go deeper

Nov 18, 2020 - Podcasts

11th hour troop withdrawals

The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it would withdraw around 2,000 troops from Afghanistan by mid-January. This comes after President Trump’s Pentagon reshuffle last week — when he fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper and a few other officials.

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.