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Trump Claims He 'Single-Handedly' Selected Alabama As 'Space Force' Home, Contradicting Military Officials

Trump Claims He 'Single-Handedly' Selected Alabama As 'Space Force' Home, Contradicting Military Officials
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump has often made headlines for contradicting government officials and his latest statement is a total head-scratcher.

During an August 20 telephone interview on the Alabama-based syndicated radio show Rick and Bubba, Trump claimed he had "single-handedly" selected Alabama as the home for the United States Space Force.

Trump said:

"Space Force—I sent it to Alabama. I hope you know that."
"[They] said they were looking for a home and I single-handedly said 'Let's go to Alabama.'"
"They wanted it. I said, 'Let's go to Alabama. I love Alabama.'"

But there are three main problems with Trump's claim.

Firstly, the Space Force is already based at the Pentagon.

Secondly, Space Command, currently based in Colorado, is the official name of the agency that's set to relocate to Alabama.

Space Command, a remant of the Reagan administration, was created in September 1985 to provide joint command and control for all military forces in outer space.

Its mission was to provide joint command and control of the Air Force, Army, and Navy's space forces. It was directly responsible all operations 62 miles above mean sea level.

It was also designed to prepare for implementation of the Strategic Defense Initiative, a proposed missile defense system to protect the United States from a potential nuclear attack.

Space Command was discontinued in 2002 and lay dormant until Trump revived it while in office under the 2019 Defense Authorization Act.

And finally, while the Air Force selected Huntsville, Alabama over five other finalists as the new home of Space Command, lawmakers from Colorado, one of the finalists, have alleged that the decision was politically motivated.

In fact, Colorado Representative Doug Lamborn, a Republican, criticized the Air Force as recently as June, saying Colorado's:

"understanding is that this was a political decision by the last administration and that the Air Force, while initially selecting Colorado Springs, had to go back and scramble to justify a different siting decision."

Meanwhile, John Roth, acting Secretary of the Air Force, said during that same hearing that he has not personally seen evidence "that the decision was politically motivated."

Roth went on to say that the costs of basic construction, maintenance, "and the like" were more favorable to Huntsville than the city of Colorado Springs.

Could Trump's big mouth complicate matters for Huntsville, which is hedging its bets on a deal that would significantly boost its economy?

Critics seem to think so.

It is likely Trump made the claim to fire up support ahead of a scheduled rally in Alabama on Saturday. It also serves to distract from some more sobering news.

The city of Cullman, Alabama, which is slated to host Saturday's rally, has declared a Covid-19-related state of emergency ahead of the event.

The declaration allows the city to provide a tent, generator, and air conditioning unit so the rally, held by the Alabama Republican Party, can proceed.

Police, as well as fire and emergency personnel, will also be on hand to assist with health issues related to the rally, such as dehydration.