Fact Check

Did a Retired Army General Call President Trump a 'Serious Threat to U.S. National Security'?

Gen. Barry McCaffrey also asserted that the president was "under the sway" of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

Published Dec. 4, 2018

Image Via MSNBC
Retired U.S. Army General Barry McCaffrey opined that President Trump poses a "serious threat to U.S. national security."

In December 2018, the "Union Thugs" Facebook page, which is pro-labor union and opposed to President Donald Trump, posted a meme which appeared to present a dire warning about the 45th President from a retired four-star U.S. Army general, Barry McCaffrey:

Reluctantly I have concluded that President Trump is a serious threat to U.S. national security. He is refusing to protect vital U.S. interests from active Russian attacks. It is apparent that he is for some unknown reason under the sway of Mr. Putin. -- Barry McCaffrey, retired four-star army general.

That meme was originally created and published in March 2018 by the "Trump Resistance Movement" Facebook page.

The referenced quotation is authentic and was taken word-for-word from a tweet issued by McCaffrey on 16 March 2018:

General McCaffrey's observations came after reports that the Russian state had launched cyberattacks against the energy infrastructure of the United States and had poisoned former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England.

McCaffrey, who is a military analyst for NBC News, enumerated the causes of his concerns about President Trump in television interviews two days later. Speaking to Joy Reid, McCaffrey said:

There is no question that Mr. Putin in particular is an active threat to U.S. national security interests, as well as those of our NATO allies. It is not just hacking of our elections, hacking of our power grid, it's also direct, armed confrontation in Syria, interference in U.S. security operations in Afghanistan, threats to the Baltic states, threats to Poland, active combat operations in eastern Ukraine, the list goes on...I cannot understand why President Trump simply won't respond to this guy who is...running an active criminal oligarchy in Russia, which is hostile to U.S. and allied interests.


Volz, Dustin and Timothy Gardner.   "In a First, U.S. Blames Russia for Cyber Attacks on Energy Grid."     Reuters.   15 March 2018.

Dodd, Vikram et al.   "Sergei Skripal: Former Russian Spy Poisoned with Nerve Agent, Say Police."     The Guardian.   8 March 2018.

Dan Mac Guill is a former writer for Snopes.