Former President Donald Trump admitted Saturday that after he flew to Iraq aboard Air Force One that he wanted to give himself the Medal of Honor — the country’s highest award for military valor in action — but was told he wasn’t allowed to.
“As president, I wanted to give myself the Congressional Medal of Honor, but they wouldn’t let me do it…they said that would be inappropriate,” Trump said on July 23 at the Turning Point USA summit, whose “mission is to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of freedom, free markets, and limited government.”
The Congressional Medal of Honor, which is typically presented by the president in the name of Congress, represents values of “bravery, courage, sacrifice [and] integrity,” and is only awarded for military valor in action.
Living recipients of the Medal of Honor include Florent A. Groberg, who was honored for “acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty” during combat operations in Afghanistan in 2012, and Gary George Wetzel, who “displayed extraordinary heroism in his efforts to aid his fellow crewmen” during the Vietnam War.
Many expressed their frustration of Trump’s statement on Twitter, pointing out his disregard for the award’s legacy for honoring “military valor in action” and his lack of knowledge for how the award is given. One user noted that Trump avoided the military draft for the Vietnam War five times.
Here are just a few of the many reactions from Twitter users: