Many veterans — from Sen. Tammy Duckworth to everyday observers on Twitter — and their family members reacted harshly Friday to a report that President Donald Trump has disparaged and written off military service for years.
“I recommend all veterans to use their Military pics as a profile pic to let Trump know how many people he has offended by calling fallen soldiers losers and suckers,” wrote David Weissman, an Army combat veteran and self-described former Trump supporter, on Twitter Thursday night. His message has been retweeted over 22,000 times.
In a bombshell piece published Thursday night, The Atlantic editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg reported that Trump has referred to veterans — including former POW and Sen. John McCain — as “losers” and “suckers.” The president disputed the report on Twitter, saying he never called McCain a loser, but video and a tweet from the president himself confirm he has.
McCain’s daughter, “The View” co-host Meghan McCain, tweeted Friday, “I just got through two years without my Dad a few days ago. The loss is still incredibly painful and raw. No one is more acutely aware of how vile and disgusting Trump has been to my family, it is still hard to understand – America knows who this man is…”
Goldberg also reported in his piece that Trump called soldiers who died during World War I “losers” and “suckers”, told his senior staff “we’re not going to support that loser’s funeral” after McCain died before calling him “a f-ing loser”, mocked former President George H.W. Bush for being shot down while piloting combat missions during World War II, and disrespected the son of former chief of staff John Kelly who died in 2010 at age 29 while serving as a Marine Corps officer in Afghanistan.
Per Goldberg, Trump also requested amputees not be included in plans for a military parade because, in his words, “nobody wants to see that.”
Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran who lost both her legs after her helicopter was hit by a grenade, responded to Trump’s reported comments about amputees: “What @realDonaldTrump will never understand is that our Wounded Warriors earned their wounds. They are our badges of honor from our service to the country we love. If he can’t bear to witness those who have sacrificed for our nation, perhaps he should avert his cowardly eyes.”