Ever since he became President in 2016, Donald Trump has repeatedly boasted about the overwhelming support he has among military families, often claiming without evidence, that he has “rebuilt the military” which was dilapidated under his predecessor Obama. However events spurred by a recent bombshell report on The Atlantic have turned Trump’s military talking points upside down, and now appear to be a serious threat to his presidency, with less than two months to go before the 2020 elections. The bombshell report on The Atlantic gives a picture of Trump that stands in stark contrast to his public pronouncements of affection towards members of the military, and instead provides troubling examples of how Trump privately harbors deep disdain for them, even referring to dead and wounded soldiers with demeaning terms like “suckers” and “losers”
In a 2018 visit to Paris for example, Trump reportedly told members of his administration accompanying him on the trip that he did not want to visit Aisne-Marne American Cemetery saying, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” Trump on the same trip, also reportedly referred to the 1,800 U.S. Marines who laid down their lives for the country at the battle of Belleau Wood in France, as “suckers”. These are the kinds of disgusting remarks you simply never expect to hear from an American Commander-in-Chief regarding American troops–dead, wounded or alive. As expected, Trump’s disgusting “suckers” and “losers” remarks have created a political firestorm which seriously threatens his chances for reelection because his remarks credibly call into question his fitness to serve as the U.S. Commander-in-Chief. Trump’s remarks have also thrown his 2020 reelection campaign into a tailspin with top surrogates uncomfortably trying to reassure the public that he loves service members despite his remarks.
One such top surrogate is Trump’s former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, whose attempt to defend Trump’s “suckers” and “losers” remarks was met with severe backlash on Twitter. Haley had tweeted a rare request to Trump’s Democratic challenger Joe Biden, asking Biden to take down a campaign ad saying Trump was unfit to be Commander-in-Chief based on the piece in The Atlantic. Twitter clearly did not take lightly to Haley’s request.
Biden should take this down. All of us who worked with @realDonaldTrump witnessed the tremendous amount of love and respect he has for our military. He was determined to protect them. We had many conversations in NSC meetings about protecting them. #TakeItDown #MilitarySpouse https://t.co/aS8l94tuhi— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) September 5, 2020
But as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow correctly pointed out, Trump’s troubling behavior towards service members was evident way before the piece in The Atlantic came along. The bombshell piece in The Atlantic resonated with a lot of people because in many ways, it was simply a confirmation of Trump’s deep disdain for military service members, which many people had suspected all along. The 09/04/2020 edition of The Rachel Maddow Show took a deep dive into Trump’s troubling behavior towards service members and their families, the most notable one being his encounter with Myeshia Johnson, the wife of Sgt LaDavid Johnson, who was killed in Niger in late 2017.
The Maddow segment featured a clip from an October 2017 Good Morning America interview in which Myeshia Johnson lamented the cruel way President Trump had spoken to her on the phone regarding the death of her husband. Mrs Johnson said the phone conversation with Trump, which traditionally was meant to comfort/console military spouses who had lost loved ones, ended up being very traumatic, making her “cry even more” because Trump apparently said her dead husband “knew what he was signing up for.” Mrs Johnson was also distressed because Trump could not even remember her husband’s name, something she found very odd and annoying.
Maddow’s segment also delved into how Trump rudely dealt with Lt. Col Alexander Vindman, a wounded veteran who was a witness at Trump’s impeachment proceedings, especially the way Trump mocked his Army uniform and tweeted his rank in quotation marks, as if it was a fake title. Maddow also pointed out how Trump had derided Admiral Bill McRaven, a revered military figure most remembered for leading the attack that killed Osama bin Laden. Trump spoke disparagingly of Admiral McRaven saying he should have captured bin Laden sooner. There’s also the way Trump rudely dealt with Gold star father Khizr Khan who lost his son in combat in Iraq, and his infamous comments towards Senator McCain, suggesting that McCain was not a hero because he was captured. Simply put, even before the bombshell report on The Atlantic, there was already a mountain of evidence pointing towards the fact that Trump has very low regard for service members, especially the ones that end up wounded in combat, or dead.
It also bears pointing out that on a recent segment with Trump’s niece Mary L. Trump about her bestseller new book “Too Much And Never Enough”, Maddow brought up a section of the book which says Trump once threatened to cut his children off their inheritance if they ever enlisted in the military. The two also talked about Trump’s divorce papers with Marla Maples, Tiffany Trump’s mother. Apparently, there was a stipulation in the divorce papers that Trump would stop paying any further child support in the event Tiffany enrolled in the military. This is further damning evidence of Trump’s demonstrated disdain for the military and the people who enlist in the revered American institution as a sacrifice. It should be abundantly clear to everybody at this point that Trump’s only use for military service members, is as photo ops for his political campaign. He otherwise considers them “suckers” and “losers” for their sacrifice.
Bottom line folks, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden summed it all up with this powerful tweet, “Mr. President, if you don’t respect our troops, you can’t lead them.” Folks, if you don’t agree with Joe Biden on anything else, this should be your reason to vote for him on November 3, 2020. Our men and women in uniform deserve a Commander-in-Chief who gives a damn about them. Plain and simple!!.
Mr. President, if you don’t respect our troops, you can’t lead them. pic.twitter.com/hcX9hGgdm5— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 4, 2020
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