It came as both a surprise and the final piece of a puzzle being placed when The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg published a story entitled “Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers.'” While it hit many Americans hard to hear that a president could be so disdainful of the sacrifice so many of our soldiers have made to protect democracy, it also fit a pattern of disparaging statements Trump has made about those who’ve served, including the late Senator John McCain, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, Adm. William McRaven, and the father of the late Officer Human Kahn.
Experiences shared by President Trump's former classmates at the New York Military Academy help explain the president’s reported contempt for those who fought, died, or were wounded in America’s wars, FP's @michaelphirsh writes.https://t.co/HawDSEbgK2
— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) September 8, 2020
Classmates of Donald Trump from The New York Military Academy say that the story surprised them least of all. George White, who served as Trump’s superior at the academy, said that Trump has always mocked and disparaged military service, even as far back as high school.
According to Foreign Policy:
‘The 74-year-old retired Army veteran was Trump’s superior—the first captain, or highest-ranking cadet—in Trump’s 1964 graduating class at the New York Military Academy. White said he witnessed up close Trump’s contempt for military service, discipline, and tradition, as well his ungoverned sense of entitlement, all helped along by his father Fred Trump’s generous donations to the school.’
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) September 9, 2020
White, along with five other classmates from the military academy, say that Trump learned his disdain for military service from his father and expressed many times that he could not understand American troops fighting in places to protect other countries, such as in Vietnam and Iraq.
‘No, those remarks absolutely didn’t surprise me. In my dealings with him he was a heartless, obnoxious son of a bitch.’
“From day one, the neocons and the folks who have profited off of American foreign adventurism have opposed Trump,” said conservative strategist Chris Barron. https://t.co/UEvLL0O5QL
— Chris Barron 🇺🇸 (@ChrisRBarron) September 9, 2020
Trump has countered the story, saying that he has given service members bigger raises than any other president, funded the military more than any other president, and that he’s only under attack because top military brass wants to engage in endless wars because they’re war profiteers. However, Trump has only given service members the minimum required raise each year, his funding of the military directly contributes to defense contractors increasing their bottom line, and he hasn’t ended any wars or brought any troops home. His “support” of the military has been shaky, at best.
‘Trump’s attitude toward the military, then, is fundamentally ambivalent: He mocks the very idea of service, sacrifice, or discipline, but he likes shiny medals, big parades, and deadly weapons. He has sought to portray himself as a tough and aggressive leader who understands the military better than generals do, yet he has repeatedly sought to avoid war.’
Multiple Trump administration officials have now confirmed that he repeatedly disparaged veterans and fallen service members, calling them “losers” and “suckers.” Any military personnel or veterans who still support Trump should hold their head in shame.
— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) September 5, 2020