Ten reasons to believe Trump disparaged the military (per Bill Press of The Hill)

Two letters to my newspaper framed the issue. One from a veteran said it is easy to believe Trump disparaged the troops based on his past actions and words. Another said she felt it was a “smear job” and encouraged the anonymous sources to come forward. Bill Press of The Hill wrote an opinion piece called “Trump gives military middle finger salute.” In it, he cites ten reasons to believe the story by a reputable source and corroborated by four other sources, is true. The highlighting of three reasons is my doing for emphasis.

“Admittedly, it’s hard to imagine any American president, Republican or Democrat, calling our soldiers, especially those killed in battle, ‘losers’ or ‘suckers.’ Still don’t believe it? Let me give you 10 reasons why you should.

One, Trump ducked military service in Vietnam by getting five deferments, including one of them for ‘temporary’ bone spurs – based on a diagnosis written by a New York podiatrist, according to his daughters, as a favor to Trump’s father. Two, this is the same Donald Trump who bragged to radio host Howard Stern in 1997 that his ‘personal Vietnam’ was dating in the ’90s without getting STDs.

Three, New York businessman Donald Trump fought repeatedly to ban disabled vets from selling goods on Fifth Avenue. ‘Whether they are veterans or not,’ he wrote in a 2004 letter to then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ‘they should not be allowed to sell on this most important and prestigious shopping street.’ Four, according to his niece Mary Trump, when Donald Jr. told his father he was considering joining the military, Trump said he would disown him.

Five, as candidate for president, Trump spent a week disparaging Gold Star parents of Army Capt. Humayun Kahn, after his father spoke at the Democratic National Convention. Six, he also insisted that John McCain was no ‘war hero’ because he was captured and later, as president, resisted honoring McCain’s death. ‘We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,’ he reportedly told his staff.

Seven, he told the widow of slain Army Sgt. La David Johnson ‘he knew what he signed up for.’ Eight, in 2017, according to the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, he told top generals at the Pentagon: ‘I wouldn’t go to war with you people. You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.’ Nine, he called four-star General and former Defense Secretary James Mattis ‘not tough enough’ and ‘overrated.’ Ten, when our intelligence agencies reported that Russia was paying Taliban terrorists a bounty to kill American soldiers, Donald Trump did – absolutely nothing.

Given that history, no wonder not one military leader has stood up to deny the Atlantic’s report. They know the truth. Donald Trump’s been bad-mouthing the military all his life.

The full editorial is below. The words that Trump have been alleged to have said are entirely in character. The choice of words and the targets are meaningful and consistent.


12 thoughts on “Ten reasons to believe Trump disparaged the military (per Bill Press of The Hill)

    • Thanks for stopping by. I am all for peace and hopefully this a step down a positive path. Sadly, a key constituency has been left out of this process, so it may not endure. I have yet to determine the role of the US president as he is prone to take credit where it is not due or more than he should, while doing the opposite with blame.

      The trouble with Trump’s nomination is he has also left the world more unsafe with his transactional mindset at the expense of relationships. The US is less trusted because its president is untrustworhy. A Pew Poll revealed 64% of Europeans did not trust the US president, trusting Xi Jingpeng and Vladimir Putin more. So, I cannot envision Trump winning a peace prize. At least that is my two cents. Keith

  1. Never for a minute did I doubt that Trump said everything that was stated in The Atlantic article, and much more. I do like Bill Press’ systematic way of putting the whole picture together. Those who say this is a “smear job” are not listening closely, or have so closed their minds in order to continue to support a cruel, evil ‘man’ that they cannot/will not see. Thanks for this post, Keith … I hadn’t seen Press’ OpEd until I read this.

    • Thanks Jill. I am hard pressed thinking he did not say these things, given his nature and history. Press lays it out, but especially the point that he has done nada on the Taliban bounty issue.

      • I’d bet money that he said every bit of that and more. The thing that puzzles me is that he gave Bob Woodward 18 interviews, knew he was being recorded, knew his words would show up in the book … why? Is it because he knows he is virtually ‘untouchable’? Is it because he knows that the election, no matter what he does, no matter what the polls say, is “in the bag” per Vladimir Putin? I … it puzzles me … there is something I’m not seeing.

        And yes, the Taliban bounty issue needs to be Front and Center in the news, but it is barely mentioned. Thanks for the reminder … I’ve been meaning to dig a bit and write about that! So much to distract these days!!!

      • Jill, his agreeing to be interviewed I think is traceable to his outsized ego. He was disappointed that Woodward did not interview him for “Fear,” the first book, although Woodward tried many times and was told no.

        Trump’s staff did not want him to do the interview, but could not talk him out of it. What Trump fails to realize is he does not know where the truth stops and lying begins – it just does not matter to his “sales schtick.” But, even now, he does not realize that people believe his BS to the extent that they do. So, when he downplays something and his sycophants join in, people put themselves in harm’s way.


    • Janis, but he can go lower, as we found out with a new dawn. Woodward’s book and taped interview confirm the president lied to people (and continued to lie) about COVID-19 and put them in harm’s way. Note, the lie is not news, but the admission is. There should be a class action suit from people who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 against the president. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: A poll released today said 50% of Americans believe Trump disparaged the soldiers, 37% believe he did not and 13% are not sure. Trump is right, he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and it would not make a difference with his base. That is a sad indictment made by Trump and is actually an insult of his base.

    • David, well said. The main line of defense in Congress on the Woodward book revelation that Trump knew of the pandemic danger and did not want to create a panic is they have not read the book. The rationalization of person in leadership whose failure to lead caused more deaths, infections and cessation to the economic growth is about as low as elected officials can go. Keith

      PS – Maybe you could start a campaign for Australians to ask an American, “are you tired of the obviously corrupt, deceitful and bullying president yet?” Keith

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