Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said Wednesday that he’d been briefed by the Pentagon on an upcoming U.S. military training exercise expected to take place in his state and believed his constituents had nothing to worry about.
Some Texans have been up in arms in recent weeks over the operation, dubbed “Jade Helm 15,” which they believe may be a cover for a military takeover of the state or the implementation of martial law. But the uber-conservative senator told reporters that the exercise was “nothing more and nothing less than a typical training event,” according to The Dallas Morning News.
“We need a military that trains so they’re prepared to meet the threats here and abroad and to keep us safe, and that’s what I believe is happening here,” Cornyn said, as quoted by the newspaper.
Cornyn said he’d asked for the Pentagon briefing, where he met with Department of Defense officials and a three-star Air Force general, according to the newspaper. An aide to the senator told The Dallas Morning News that the meeting took place last week in Cornyn’s office, but declined to name the officials who were present.
The state’s junior senator, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, also asked the Pentagon for information on “Jade Helm 15.” But Cruz told Bloomberg Politics that he understood conspiracy theorists’ concerns.
“I think part of the reason is, we have seen for six years a federal government disrespecting the liberty of the citizens and that produces fear,” he said. “When you see a federal government that is attacking our free speech rights, our religious liberty rights, our Second Amendment rights. That produces distrust as to government.”