A Fox News report claiming Kamala Harris broke with precedent by not saluting the military honor guard has received backlash for attempting to provoke false anger against the vice president.
The report appeared to be inspired by a post from former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik, who claimed it was “disgraceful” that Harris “refused” to salute the honor guard earlier this week.
Kerik, who had been imprisoned for tax fraud and lying to White House officials until he was pardoned by Donald Trump last year, claimed that a video of the incident showed the VP’s supposed “dislike for those in uniform, both law-enforcement and military”.
DISGRACEFUL: @VP Kamala Harris refuses to salute the honor guard at the steps of the aircraft. It is a clear demons… https://t.co/LjIRE0EhBw
Fox News argued that former vice president Mike Pence and then-vice president Joe Biden regularly saluted the honor guard in similar situations.
However, according to the defence news publication Task & Purpose, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby noted this week that there were no official rules on whether the vice president should salute military personnel.
Kirby said: “There is no overarching instruction or regulation that requires the president or vice president to return hand salutes from members of the Armed Forces.
“There is no specific requirement for personnel to salute the vice president, though the vice president does receive honors, including cannon firing, ruffles and flourishes, and specific music, when visiting military installations or participating in formal functions.”
In fact,Task & Purpose noted that the tradition of presidents and sometimes vice presidents saluting members of the Armed Forces was simply something that Ronald Reagan started because he wanted to do it.
As VP, Harris is not actually part of the military chain of command because she is a civilian - so she should not be expected in theory to salute anyone:
The Commander in Chief returns salutes as a matter of courtesy (a practice started by Reagan), but the VP is a civi… https://t.co/XLyF86UYIl
The story appears to be another example of Fox News searching for a way to rile up its viewers following Trump’s retreat from public life.
Ever since Biden’s inauguration in January, the right-wing network has attempted to stir up controversy over the US southern border, gun control and the alleged “cancellation” of beloved childhood characters.
Meanwhile, Biden’s approval ratings have remained comfortably above 50 per cent - a feat that Trump never managed during his four years as president...