COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) - Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers did not hold back his emotions as he responded to reports of the new Space Command moving to Huntsville, Alabama.
"I am deeply disappointed and very surprised," he said.
Suthers says both Huntsville and Colorado Springs went through a selection process, and Air Force sources told him they believed Colorado Springs was the clear front runner. He says recently he heard from Air Force sources that Huntsville was chosen over Colorado Springs by President Donald Trump for reasons other than national security and what is best for the American people.
"If you're asking if I attribute personal motives to the President, absolutely," he said.
Even though Colorado Springs and El Paso County are reliably red Trump-supporting districts, Suthers says he has it on good authority the president is playing political favorites.
"Bottom line is there is significant political connections between the President and the Congressional delegation in Alabama and what perhaps he hopes they may be of assistance to him."
When asked if Huntsville is just a better choice, the President and CEO of the Colorado Springs Chamber Dirk Draper questions how anywhere can be better than the place already housing Space Command.
"That can't be true" he said. "There are no Space Force assets in Huntsville today."
The mayor says he spoke with Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado's Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper and they plan on asking the incoming Biden administration to overturn the decision.
"These conversations about the inappropriateness of this decision will take place," Suthers promises.
CBS4 asked the Air Force if President Trump did, in fact, override recommendations to keep the Space Command in Colorado, and they told us that's "not accurate."
In December 2018, President Trump signed an executive order to create Space Command separate from U.S. Strategic Command, and officially announced the creation of Space Command in August 2019.
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