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Congressman Clay Blasts Trump, Airport Privatization Effort

Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Congressman William Lacy Clay Jr., D-St. Louis, is issuing a dire warning when it comes to President Donald Trump’s actions regarding Iran.

“If we don’t rein in this president’s recklessness, we will commit young men and women to a war zone in the Middle East, and the results will be a catastrophe,” he said Friday on St. Louis on the Air

“I’ve seen this before,” he continued. “And apparently no one in this president’s family has ever served in the military or ever gone to war, so it probably doesn’t faze him. He doesn’t realize what the damage will be to Americans in a war zone. It’s so cavalier.”  

Clay also had harsh words for the city of St. Louis’ aborted exploration of airport privatization. Months before Mayor Lyda Krewson pulled the plug on the costly effort, Clay had called for a public vote on any deal to lease St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

Clay said he long ago worked shining shoes at the airport. He said the process to explore privatization was deeply flawed.

“I decided to speak out and demand a public vote because the whole process smelled bad from the beginning, and I was skeptical about the ultimate public benefit that privatization might have produced,” he said. “I knew that the process was full of deception, a complete lack of transparency and loads of conflicts of interest, including consultants who had a huge profit motive contingent on the outcome of the study.”

On the national level, Clay said he has yet to settle on his choice for his party’s next standard bearer. The congressman was an early endorser of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. Since she’s dropped out of the race, he called for voters to support the party’s nominee, no matter who it is.

Of his ballot for Missouri’s March 10 Democratic primary, he said he’s as yet undecided.

“I’ll make a determination in the voting booth,” he said.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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Sarah Fenske served as host of St. Louis on the Air from July 2019 until June 2022. Before that, she spent twenty years in newspapers, working as a reporter, columnist and editor in Cleveland, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and St. Louis.