Biden’s Defense Secretary fires back at Matt Gaetz: Right-wingers are ‘telling you what you want to hear’ about Critical Race Theory

During a House Armed Services Committee hearing this Wednesday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin went head-to-head with Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, who accused Austin of endorsing the teaching of Critical Race Theory to U.S. Military members.

During his questioning of Austin, Gaetz claimed that he’s spoken to members of the military who say CRT is their “number one concern.”

“I’ve heard those sentiments most frequently from units that are majority-minority,” Gaetz said. “How should the Department of Defense think about critical race theory?”

“I don’t know what the issue of critical race theory is,” Austin replied. “We do not teach critical race theory. We don’t embrace critical race theory, and I think that’s a spurious conversation. We are focused on extremist behaviors and not ideology — not people’s thoughts, not people’s political orientation.”

“And thanks for your anecdotal input,” Austin continued. “But I would say that I’ve gotten ten times that amount of input — 50 times that amount of input on the other side that has said, ‘We’re glad to have had the ability to have a conversation without ourselves and our leadership.'”

“It may be that you’re receiving that input in the ratios you describe because it was your directive. It may be people are concerned about criticizing your decision.”

Gaetz then accused Austin of “hiring a critical race theorist” as an adviser, to which Austin replied that he had no idea what Gaetz was talking about.

“This is the first I’ve ever heard [Bishop Garrison] being described as a critical race theorist,” Austin responded. “Let me just share one thing you brought up, Congressman, about the input that comes to me. I trust my leadership from top to bottom that they will give me fair and balanced and unvarnished input.”

“And for you to say people are telling me what I want to hear, I get it,” he added. “You know, maybe they are telling you what you want to hear.”

Watch the exchange below, via RawStory:

To Top