“I recommend all veterans to use their military pictures as their profile picture,” wrote Weissman on Twitter on Thursday evening, “to let Trump know how many people he has insulted.”
Weissman’s online call to arms underscored the anger military veterans and their families broke out overnight against Trump after Trump and several top aid workers vehemently denied an item bombed in the Atlantic.
In a video on Twitter, retired Maj. General Paul Eaton, who had previously spoken out against Trump, described how his father was shot down while providing air support to local troops in Vietnam.
“I am stunned that anyone in the US military would consider you anything but a loser or a sucker,”
The president, who had received medical deferment from Vietnam, also repeatedly asked why anyone would join the armed forces, including once his then chief of staff, John F. Kelly pro-Atlantic.
“I do not get it. What was in it for her? “he asked on Memorial Day 2017 next to the grave of Kelly’s son, who was killed in Afghanistan at the age of 29, reported the Atlantic.
White House officials were quick to dismiss the reports in the Atlantic Article as being false, noting late Thursday that the president had demonstrated his admiration for the service by increasing military spending and making major policy reforms for veterans.
“I would be willing to swear by everything I have never said about our fallen heroes,” Trump said late Thursday in Washington after his return from a campaign trip to Pennsylvania. “There is no one who respects them more. I just think it’s a terrible, terrible thing. ”
However, the derogatory remarks described in the Atlantic are hardly the first time Trump has spoken badly about the armed forces.
Despite a long history of revered generals, the president criticized his former Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, a retired four-star general, as “not harsh enough” and “overrated”.
Speaking on camera of Senator John McCain of Arizona, a prisoner of war in Vietnam, in 2015, Trump said he prefers veterans who have not been captured. After McCain’s death in 2018, Trump waited two days to lower the flags and make a formal statement, which collapsed under pressure from veteran groups.
Many of these past gaffes don’t seem to have hurt his approval rating among former US service members. In July 2019, a study by the Pew Research Center found that a majority of veterans endorsed his decisions as commander in chief, and nearly half said his policies had strengthened the armed forces.
In the politically polarized environment of 2020, about two months before the elections, the question arises whether this time could be different.
Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), A former Army Ranger who completed three tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, said reports of Trump’s derogatory comments were “the last full measure of his shame” and referred to a line from the Gettysburg Address.
“When you serve, you do it selflessly. They don’t do it for the paycheck, medal, or uniform. You do it because you believe in America, “Crow wrote in a statement. “Trump will never understand that.”
VoteVets, a liberal political action committee that supports veteran candidates and mobilizes the veteran vote, quickly used Atlantic history to empower Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“There is no rhyme or reason for Trump to cruelly attack our nation’s fallen heroes,” Will Goodwin, the group’s director of government relations, said in a statement. He added, “With the votes of millions of veterans and active service members, we will soon have another President and Commander-in-Chief who deserves that title – Joe Biden.”
For many veterans on the internet, however, the PAC doesn’t need to do a lot of persuasion to get them to the polls.
“My father died at the age of 46 from exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Trump says he’s a loser. My grandpa went to the South Pacific during World War II. Trump just called him a fool, ”wrote Allison Gill, podcast host and former Veterans Affairs officer. “I’m a disabled vet but not an amputee, so Trump says I can go to a parade. The choice is clear. ”