Jon Stewart thrashes Biden official over soldiers surviving on food stamps: ‘That’s f***ing corruption’

Comedian Jon Stewart threw down with Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks at the War Horse Symposium in Chicago on Thursday over the size of the defense budget and blasted the high number of service members who have been forced onto food stamps to survive, calling it corrupt.

(Video Credit: C-SPAN)

The contentious exchange visibly made Hicks uncomfortable. She was grilled by Stewart about an audit of the Pentagon and a review of potential “waste, fraud, and abuse.”

The Biden official was rude as well and condescending toward Stewart, interrupting him frequently.

“‘Audit’ and ‘waste, fraud, and abuse’ are not the same thing,” she said attempting to school Stewart. “So, let’s decompose these pieces [sic, what?] for a moment.”

“Then please educate me on what the difference is,” Stewart sneered at her.

The two went at it after that with Stewart not giving Hicks any wiggle room.

“So, an audit is exactly what you just described, which is, ‘Do I know what was delivered to which place?'” Hicks stated.

“Right,” Stewart confirmed.

“The ability to pass an audit or, the fact that the DoD has not passed an audit is not suggestive of waste, fraud, and abuse. That is completely false, right there. So…” Hicks attempted to claim.

“So, what is it suggestive of?” Stewart asked putting her on the hot seat.

“It’s suggestive that we can’t – we don’t have an accurate inventory that we can pull up of what we have where. That is not the same as saying, ‘We can’t do that because waste, fraud, and abuse has occurred,'” she said, dancing around the issue as only a politician can.

Stewart did not give any ground on the issue and did some schooling of his own.

“So, in my world, that’s waste,” he asserted.

“How is that waste?” Hicks disingenuously asked.

“If I give you a billion dollars and you can’t tell me what happened to it, that to me is wasteful. That means you are not responsible. But if you can’t tell me where it went, then what am I supposed to think? And when there has been reporting – I mean, this is not, look, I’m not saying this is on you and that you caused this,” Stewart asserted while also trying to soften the blow to Hicks.

“I’m pretty sure I didn’t cause it,” Hicks said laughing at the potential suggestion.

The host of military advocacy projects didn’t let up on the issue of waste, transparency, and finding out where billions of dollars are going in the military.

“But I think it’s a tough argument to make that an $850 billion budget to an organization that can’t pass an audit and tell you where that money went, like, I think most people would consider that somewhere in the realm of waste, fraud, or abuse because they would wonder why that money isn’t well accounted for. And, especially when they see food insecurity on military bases and they see…” he began before Hicks interjected.

“Do you wanna talk about that because that’s a good – we should be talking – I kind of understand where you’re trying to go, other than the dollars, which really bothers you,” she said, nervously laughing.

“I think it doesn’t really bother me. I think it’s all connected,” Stewart clapped back.

“Ok, tell me. Tell me that story. Tell me how you’re thinking about that,” she said, walking into Stewart’s trap.

The former “Daily Show” host proceeded to hammer Hicks over military waste and fraud.

“When I see a State Department get a certain amount of money and a military budget be ten times that, and I see a struggle within government to get people like, more basic services, and then that department that got that – I mean, we got out of 20 years of war and the Pentagon got a $50 billion raise. Like, that’s shocking to me,” he told her.

“Now, I may not understand exactly the ins and outs, and the incredible magic of an audit. But I’m a human being who lives on the Earth and can’t figure out how $850 billion to a department means that the rank and file still have to be on food stamps. Like, to me, that’s f***ing corruption. I’m sorry. And, if like, that blows your mind and you think that’s like a crazy agenda for me to have, I really think that that’s institutional thinking and that it’s not looking at the day-to-day reality of the people that you call the greatest fighting force in the world,” Stewart informed Hicks.

“So, again, I get back to this idea of like, I’m not looking to pick a fight with you. But I am surprised that the reactions to these questions are, ‘You don’t know what an audit is, bucko.’ Like, that’s just weird to me,” he stated.

Hicks went on to weakly respond that food insecurity among soldiers is a “major priority” for the administration and that “a lot of funds are going toward that.”

However, she has not provided proof of that and she pretty much did a political two-step, never answering Stewart with any kind of substantive response.


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