After a report from The Atlantic came out revealing that President Donald Trump had apparently referred to American service members killed in action as “losers” and “suckers,” 6 Gold Star families banded together to record a video message insisting that Trump has “no right to be commander-in-chief,” as one of the participants put it. Gold Star families are families who have suffered the loss of one of their members in war. Trump has antagonized Gold Star families in the past — during the 2016 election season, he infamously came out against a family called the Khans after they were critical of him, and more recently, he “disrespected” a family during a supposed condolence call, as one of the family members put it after the fact.
The video message from Gold Star families that emerged after the new Atlantic article was released by the progressive veterans group VoteVets. On Twitter, the group captioned the video:
‘Donald Trump called our fallen troops “suckers” and “losers.” They can’t speak for themselves, but these 6 Gold Star families speak for our fallen. Here is their POWERFUL message.’
Check it out below:
Donald Trump called our fallen troops "suckers" and "losers."
They can't speak for themselves, but these 6 Gold Star families speak for our fallen.
Here is their POWERFUL message.#GoldStarParentsAgainstTrump #VeteransAgainstTrump pic.twitter.com/ZnbFevqkNR
— VoteVets (@votevets) September 4, 2020
Trump has denied the allegations that he called fallen service members “losers” and “suckers” — but would the allegations really be all that surprising or out of line with Trump’s consistent public behavior if they were true? In one of the very first high-profile debacles surrounding Trump’s presidential campaign, he derided the now deceased Arizona Senator John McCain, who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Trump mockingly said that he likes “heroes who weren’t captured,” deriding the idea that McCain should garner respect over his time as a POW. Considering that — is it really all that difficult to imagine Trump calling fallen service members “suckers”? No, it’s not.
Referring to the Atlantic article, Trump complained to reporters:
‘If they really exist, if people really exist that would have said that, they’re low lifes and they’re liars. And I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes. There is nobody that respects them more.’
Saying it doesn’t make it true. The history of Trump’s public derision of people in the Armed Forces who actually know what they’re talking about is there for all to see.