During an interview this weekend on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg criticized — to put it lightly — the antagonistic sentiments it’s been reported were expressed by Donald Trump when a wounded veteran sang at a military event.
This veteran uses a wheelchair, and allegedly, Trump maligned the idea of such individuals showing up in such a highly visible setting at all. Buttigieg himself has served in the military, and he spoke on CNN of interactions he’s had with individuals who’ve joined the U.S. armed forces and faced serious bodily harm — continuing thereafter to support the military’s efforts. Some of these individuals, he explained, were returning to service after serious injury.
“These are the kind of people who deserve respect and a hell of a lot more than that from every American, and definitely from every American president,” Buttigieg said on CNN. “And the idea that an American president, the person to whom servicemembers look as a commander-in-chief, and the person who sets the tone for this entire country, could think that way or act that way or talk that way about anyone in uniform — and certainly about those who put their bodies on the line and sacrificed in ways that most Americans will never understand. And I guess — I guess wounded veterans make President Trump feel uncomfortable.”
The claimed behavior by Trump contrasts dramatically with what so many Republicans have long insisted is central to their politics — support for the nation’s military and, more specifically, its personnel. The situation has, of course, a very prominent mirror image in how Trump (and other Republicans) reacted publicly to what transpired at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Many of the rioters who joined that day’s violent crowds have either been convicted of or pleaded guilty to assaulting police, sometimes with simply shocking violence and disregard for not just the safety but lives of the people they were targeting. And has Trump rushed publicly to support these members of law enforcement? The answer is unequivocally no.
Watch Buttigieg below, as highlighted Sunday by journalist Aaron Rupar:
“These are the kind of people who deserve respect and a hell of a lot more than that from every American, and definitely from every American president” — Buttigieg reacting to Trump’s latest outrageous attack on the troops is worth watching pic.twitter.com/kphysSs154
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 24, 2023