But while such pardons may be seen as a pro-troop move, Buttigieg said that “the idea that being sent to war turns you into a murderer is exactly the kind of thing that those of us who have served have been trying to beat back for more than a generation.” He added that such a move would actually remove one of the protections for troops.

“Today, one of the things that protect our troops morally and physically is the knowledge that if anybody in uniform does commit a crime, they will be held accountable by military justice,” he said. “For a president, especially a president who never served, to say he’s going to come in and overrule that system of military justice, undermines the very foundations, legal and moral, of this country.”