President Trump's New Space Branch of Military Earns Scorn: 'Let Me Guess; Mars is Paying for Space Force'

President Donald Trump faced Twitter's wrath on Monday after announcing that he's ordered the Pentagon to create a "space force" as the Defense Department's sixth military service branch

President Trump Departs White House For G7 Summit In Canada
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

The force is not with Donald Trump.

The president faced Twitter’s wrath on Monday after announcing that he’s ordered the Pentagon to create a “space force” as the Defense Department’s sixth military service branch.

“When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space,” Trump, 71, said Monday during a White House meeting with members of the National Space Council.

“I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces,” he added, noting that the branch will be “separate but equal” to the Air Force.

Speaking from the East Room, Trump was joined by executives of companies like Boeing, Northrup Grumman and Lockheed Martin, who already do big business with the U.S. military. Trump made it clear that his Space Force would make their government contracts even bigger.

“Before we came in, I will tell you, they didn’t have such big plans for space,” said Trump. “Now they have plans.”

In a stream-of-consciousness aside, Trump seemed to acknowledge that billionaire businessmen Jeffrey Bezos, of Amazon, and Elon Musk, of SpaceX and Tesla, are already pursuing private space programs that could put Americans on Mars.

“Rich guys seem to like rockets,” Trump said. “So all of those rich guys that are dying for our real estate to launch their rockets, we won’t charge you too much. Just go ahead. If you beat us to Mars, we’ll be very happy and you’ll be even more famous. … As long as he’s an American rich person, that’s good. Okay? They can beat us. We’ll save a little money, and they can beat us and we’re taking full credit for it. Don’t worry about it.”

But plenty of people watching from home were worried.

Many on Twitter saw Trump’s announcement as an attempt to draw attention away from his administration’s contentious immigration policy, which continues to tear apart parents and children at the border.

“Announcing the creation of a Space Force like a demented version of Star Wars to distract from a criminal counterintelligence investigation and children being thrown in cages,” one tweeter said. “I hate this admin.”

“Yes yes the Space Force is funny but let’s not get distracted,” another Twitter user wrote alongside a viral photo of a two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker crying as her mother was searched and detained near the U.S.-Mexico border last week.

Former Obama staffer Alyssa Mastromonaco also lashed out at Trump, writing: “…a 45 day old baby separated from its mother and the president is talking about a ‘space force.’ ”

Others mocked the president with Star Wars references, including a parody account for the franchise’s villain, Darth Vader, which offered help creating the Space Force.

And some criticized the president’s directive as a waste of money that should instead be spent supporting immigrants, refugees, hurricane victims and others in need.

Military veteran and transgender activist Charlotte Clymer tweeted, “Let me get this straight: Trump supporters complaining that we’re a) letting government waste money and b) getting too involved in affairs outside our country are cheering the creation of a ‘Space Force’ as a sixth branch of the military?”

Another Twitter user wrote: “Trump Supporters: ‘We can’t afford to take care of all these immigrants and their children.’ Same Trump Supporters: ‘We need a Space Force.’ ”

Trump has previously described the initiative as turning space into “a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea.” And, in a speech in California in March, he admitted that the Space Force began as a joke: “We have the Army, the Navy. I was saying it the other day because we’re doing a tremendous amount of work in space. I said maybe we need a new force, we’ll call it the Space Force. And I was not really serious.

“Then I said, ‘What a great idea, maybe we’ll have to do that,’ ” Trump told an audience at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego.

On Monday, some detractors on Twitter saw the president’s interest in space as a potential opportunity to kick him off the planet.

“If we play our cards right, we can convince Trump that his military parade will be held in space and just leave him there,” Clymer tweeted.

The website the Palmer Report wrote, “Donald Trump can have his Space Force if he agrees to serve his prison sentence there.”

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