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Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’

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When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

Belleau Wood is a consequential battle in American history, and the ground on which it was fought is venerated by the Marine Corps. America and its allies stopped the German advance toward Paris there in the spring of 1918. But Trump, on that same trip, asked aides, “Who were the good guys in this war?” He also said that he didn’t understand why the United States would intervene on the side of the Allies.

Trump’s understanding of concepts such as patriotism, service, and sacrifice has interested me since he expressed contempt for the war record of the late Senator John McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said in 2015 while running for the Republican nomination for president. “I like people who weren’t captured.”

There was no precedent in American politics for the expression of this sort of contempt, but the performatively patriotic Trump did no damage to his candidacy by attacking McCain in this manner. Nor did he set his campaign back by attacking the parents of Humayun Khan, an Army captain who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Trump remained fixated on McCain, one of the few prominent Republicans to continue criticizing him after he won the nomination. When McCain died, in August 2018, Trump told his senior staff, according to three sources with direct knowledge of this event, “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,” and he became furious, according to witnesses, when he saw flags lowered to half-staff. “What the +++++ are we doing that for? Guy was a +++++ing loser,” the president told aides. Trump was not invited to McCain’s funeral. (These sources, and others quoted in this article, spoke on condition of anonymity. The White House did not return earlier calls for comment, but Alyssa Farah, a White House spokesperson, emailed me this statement shortly after this story was posted: “This report is false. President Trump holds the military in the highest regard. He’s demonstrated his commitment to them at every turn: delivering on his promise to give our troops a much needed pay raise, increasing military spending, signing critical veterans reforms, and supporting military spouses. This has no basis in fact.”)

Trump’s understanding of heroism has not evolved since he became president. According to sources with knowledge of the president’s views, he seems to genuinely not understand why Americans treat former prisoners of war with respect. Nor does he understand why pilots who are shot down in combat are honored by the military. On at least two occasions since becoming president, according to three sources with direct knowledge of his views, Trump referred to former President George H. W. Bush as a “loser” for being shot down by the Japanese as a Navy pilot in World War II. (Bush escaped capture, but eight other men shot down during the same mission were caught, tortured, and executed by Japanese soldiers.)

When lashing out at critics, Trump often reaches for illogical and corrosive insults, and members of the Bush family have publicly opposed him. But his cynicism about service and heroism extends even to the World War I dead buried outside Paris—people who were killed more than a quarter century before he was born. Trump finds the notion of military service difficult to understand, and the idea of volunteering to serve especially incomprehensible. (The president did not serve in the military; he received a medical deferment from the draft during the Vietnam War because of the alleged presence of bone spurs in his feet. In the 1990s, Trump said his efforts to avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases constituted his “personal Vietnam.”)

On Memorial Day 2017, Trump visited Arlington National Cemetery, a short drive from the White House. He was accompanied on this visit by John Kelly, who was then the secretary of homeland security, and who would, a short time later, be named the White House chief of staff. The two men were set to visit Section 60, the 14-acre area of the cemetery that is the burial ground for those killed in America’s most recent wars. Kelly’s son Robert is buried in Section 60. A first lieutenant in the Marine Corps, Robert Kelly was killed in 2010 in Afghanistan. He was 29. Trump was meant, on this visit, to join John Kelly in paying respects at his son’s grave, and to comfort the families of other fallen service members. But according to sources with knowledge of this visit, Trump, while standing by Robert Kelly’s grave, turned directly to his father and said, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” Kelly (who declined to comment for this story) initially believed, people close to him said, that Trump was making a ham-handed reference to the selflessness of America’s all-volunteer force. But later he came to realize that Trump simply does not understand non-transactional life choices.

“He can’t fathom the idea of doing something for someone other than himself,” one of Kelly’s friends, a retired four-star general, told me. “He just thinks that anyone who does anything when there’s no direct personal gain to be had is a sucker. There’s no money in serving the nation.” Kelly’s friend went on to say, “Trump can’t imagine anyone else’s pain. That’s why he would say this to the father of a fallen marine on Memorial Day in the cemetery where he’s buried.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/09/trump-americans-who-died-at-war-are-losers-and-suckers/615997/

JFC

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I saw this was corroborated by 6 different sources. Of course the Trump apologists will claim it’s fake news because the sources aren’t named.  I mean why would anybody put their name to something so they can end up like Colonel Vindman. 

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Here’s Trump’s response.  He did call John McCain a loser btw although not for getting captured but because he lost in 2008. 
 

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/07/18/424169549/trump-lashes-out-at-mccain-i-like-people-who-werent-captured

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"He lost and let us down," Trump said. "I've never liked him as much after that."

"I don't like losers," the real-estate mogul, who has gone through corporate bankruptcy four times, added.

 

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8 minutes ago, bornontheblue said:

There has been so much fake news about Trump that I don’t believe it without video evidence. Sorry , I’m not buying it. 

After his McCain comments, and dealing with elite rich kids while in D.C., this is far from a stretch.  Us peons are nothing to the wealthy, and the military is nothing more than a bunch of poors who do their bidding, especially the gross enlisted.  

 

ETA:  I just reread you statement about fake news about Trump and needing evidence, and unless you do the same for when he opens his mouth, I can do nothing but smile inside at this logic.

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AP reporter who is a marine said he called his sources after this and they corroborated every word.

The only way one can support the dude after this is to cling to the belief that the atlantic literally just made this up. 

Just +++++in disgusting. The part about excluding the wounded from the plans for his military parade to me is the most damning and the most believable. 

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13 minutes ago, mugtang said:

I saw this was corroborated by 6 different sources. Of course the Trump apologists will claim it’s fake news because the sources aren’t named.  I mean why would anybody put their name to something so they can end up like Colonel Vindman. 

 

11 minutes ago, bornontheblue said:

There has been so much fake news about Trump that I don’t believe it without video evidence. Sorry , I’m not buying it. 

Here's the thing though. Any other president it would obviously be fake. 100% ridiculous. The fact that this is on brand for Trump and even in the realm of possibilty speaks loud enough. I mean, we have heard him say these things about McCain and Bush, so why wouldn't he say the other things. 

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33 minutes ago, mugtang said:

Here’s Trump’s response.  He did call John McCain a loser btw although not for getting captured but because he lost in 2008. 
 

 

Trump obviously didn't write those tweets, I wonder why they decided to let someone on his staff respond.

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2 minutes ago, toonkee said:

 

Here's the thing though. Any other president it would obviously be fake. 100% ridiculous. The fact that this is on brand for Trump and even in the realm of possibilty speaks lot enough. I mean, we have heard him say these things about McCain and Bush, so why wouldn't he say the other things. 

Might this finally be the thing that sinks him? It's been said so many times before, but he's teetering politically.

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Just now, smltwnrckr said:

Might this finally be the thing that sinks him? It's been said so many times before, but he's teetering politically.

I doubt it. Zealots gonna zealot. No dem or liberal is better than any Republicans amirite?

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5 minutes ago, smltwnrckr said:

Might this finally be the thing that sinks him? It's been said so many times before, but he's teetering politically.

No. His supporters will 1. Refuse to believe it or 2. Believe it and say it doesn’t matter. 
 

Trumpers are unreachable. They don’t care about logic, and don’t believe in any kind of objective truth. And as long as he has them, he’s viable. 

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Just now, smltwnrckr said:

That's what I think too, but this story is shocking even for trump.

You shouldn't be shocked a draft dodger who tries way too hard to prove his patriotism, and is a part of the establishment doesn't give a damn about the average American that comprises the bulk of the military.  In fact, he probably looks at my fellow brothers-in-arms like a kid does playing Risk or Batlle of Anzio.  He has no experience dealing with real shit like this, it's all intangible and brief when he actually visits it.

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Video evidence or it’s all lies. Too many times people have made outrageous claims about Trump and it turns out completely false. I assume it’s all lies until video evidence shows otherwise. 

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This is the kicker:

 

Quote

Trump said his efforts to avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases constituted his “personal Vietnam.”)

:thumbsup:

 

:lol:

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4 minutes ago, East Coast Aztec said:

You shouldn't be shocked a draft dodger who tries way too hard to prove his patriotism, and is a part of the establishment doesn't give a damn about the average American that comprises the bulk of the military.  In fact, he probably looks at my fellow brothers-in-arms like a kid does playing Risk or Batlle of Anzio.  He has no experience dealing with real shit like this, it's all intangible and brief when he actually visits it.

This is backed up by him not wanting wounded vets in his military parade. The parade was meant to be for him, lining up his toys, not for the people in the military. He is well known to be weirded out by the disabled. He didn't want it to ruin his fun.

It pisses me off and I'm not even a vet. Just for my friends and family who are and the handful of people I've known who have lost their family overseas. I can't imagine how it angry it must make people in the service. 

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4 minutes ago, bornontheblue said:

Video evidence or it’s all lies. Too many times people have made outrageous claims about Trump and it turns out completely false. I assume it’s all lies until video evidence shows otherwise. 

Videos can be edited.

So, that's out 

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