WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump defended himself on Sunday in what critics called a “pattern” of disrespect for U.S. troops following media reports that he had insulted fallen veterans, which could hurt his re-election campaign on November 3.
Former Republican Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who told the ABC “This Week” that these words, if true, are “despised.”
Hagel said the reports were “credible” because they were in line with earlier public statements Trump had insulted military personnel, including former United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis here and the late U.S. Senator John McCain here
“It will be heard” by the military, he added.
The sentiments of a September 3 report in The Atlantic could undermine Trump’s re-election message that he would maintain “law and order,” and that he strongly supported American troops and their families – a key Republican, which strongly supported Trump in 2016.
Trump’s rival in November, former Vice President Joe Biden, like Trump, did not serve in the military, but his late son Beau made a one-year trip to Iraq as captain of the National Guard.
Biden wanted to take advantage of the violence on Sunday by highlighting his record of supporting the armed forces with an advertisement targeting military bases with large numbers of soldiers.
A spokesman for the Biden campaign said the ad, which first appeared earlier this year, would be re-launched across the country on television news Sunday night and would be posted on Facebook and Instagram throughout the week as part of a $ 47 million campaign.
The Lincoln Project, a leading Republican-backed opposition to Trump’s re-election, released a video on Saturday attacking the president’s comments and a broad military record. Trump avoided the Vietnam War preparations, quoting bones at his feet.
He is shocked by their deaths and injuries in his contempt, ”she said.
Biden also did not work in Vietnam, receiving the relocation of five students and eventually being denied military service due to asthma in his teens, according to records released by Associated Press aids in 2008.
Retired U.S. Army Colonel Jeff McCausland wrote in a NBC News op-ed Sunday that Trump over the years has shown “a clear path of disrespect for the military.”
The Atlantic reported that Trump made the derogatory remarks after withdrawing a visit to the American cemetery during a visit to France in November 2018, an account the President denied on Thursday and on Sunday said “that’s not true.”
The Atlantic stands by its report, which lists four unnamed individuals who witnessed firsthand the issue confirmed by other media outlets.
“It’s breaking your heart,” U.S. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC of Trump’s reported remarks.
Asked by critics who said Trump had shown a pattern of disrespect for the military, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said the President had shown “respect for members of the American workforce by his words and actions.”
GREAT VOTERS, MILITARY USE
Trump’s top voters have previously apologized for his comments with mockery of McCain and other issues, but there are indications that support among the military in their top commander may be slippery.
Recently, he said he would block the Pentagon’s plan to reduce military health by $ 2.2 billion and postpone its plan to close the military newspaper Stars and Stripes.
Trump’s top officials, including US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, have been involved in Trump’s defense as the controversy escalates in recent days.
On Sunday, veteran Secretary Robert Wilkie told CNN’s “State of the Union” that he had never heard Trump insult the military. Finance Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the media Trump has supported the military “100%”.