Analysis, National

Donald Trump’s Decades Of Disdain For Veterans

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–July 11, 2016. Donald Trump is set to give an address about veterans this afternoon in Virginia. Perhaps he should address his own record. Trump’s recklessness, his lack of knowledge on national security, and his thin-skinned temperament would make our country and our troops less safe. The few policy reforms his campaign has actually embraced, like moving toward privatizing the VA, would deprive our veterans of the unique support they need and deserve. And for literally decades, Trump has been treating our veterans with disdain, from a deluge of deeply offensive comments, to taking actions that directly targeted and damaged the lives of those who have served.

Take a look:

Trump’s Campaign Has Signaled He Wants To Privatize The VA, And Said He Opposed The Post-9/11 GI Bill

  • WSJ: “While short on details, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee would likely push VA health care toward privatization and might move for it to become more of an insurance provider like Medicare rather than an integrated hospital system, said Sam Clovis, Mr. Trump’s chief policy adviser, in an interview.”
  • POLL: 64% of veterans oppose privatization — with 54% of them strongly opposing it — while only 29% support it.
  • Hillary Clinton: “We cannot and I will not put our vets at the mercy of private insurance companies without any coordination, or leave them to fend for themselves with health care providers who have no expertise in the unique challenges that are facing our veterans… Privatization is a betrayal, plain and simple, and I’m not going to let it happen.”

Trump Dishonored Iraq War Veterans By Repeatedly Praising Saddam Hussein

  • Trump, 7/5/2016: “You know what [Saddam Hussein] did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights. They didn’t talk. They were terrorists. It was over.”
  • Trump, Dec. 2015: “Saddam Hussein throws a little gas, everyone goes crazy, ‘oh he’s using gas!… they go back, forth, it’s the same. And they were stabilized.”
  • Trump, Jan. 2014: “Whether you like Saddam Hussein or not, he used to kill terrorists. Now if you go to Iraq, it’s like the Harvard for terrorists.”
  • Washington Post Editorial: “Saddam Hussein was not ‘so good’ at killing terrorists, as Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed. On the contrary, he was one of the contemporary world’s foremost sponsors of terrorism. He harbored or funded some of history’s most infamous killers and jihadists, including the current chief of al-Qaeda, and plotted numerous terrorist attacks of his own, including an attempt to assassinate former president George H.W. Bush with a suicide bomb.”
  • ABC News: Congressman and Iraq War Vet Blasts Trump’s Praise of Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein

Trump Broadly Attacked Troops Who Served In Iraq, Accusing Them Of Stealing Iraq Recovery Funds

  • Trump: “Iraq, crooked as hell. How about bringing baskets of money, millions and millions of dollars, and handing it out? I want to know, who are the soldiers that had that job? Because I think they’re living very well right now, whoever they may be.”
  • Weekly Standard: Trump: American Soldiers in Iraq Stole Money, ‘Living Very Well Right Now’
  • Iraq War Veteran: “Mostly, I’ve kept my thoughts about politics and social issues to myself. But…I felt compelled to speak out…. You see, during my tour in Iraq from 2009 to 2010, I was one of those whose job it was to hand out ‘baskets of money.’… I personally never took a dime. No one else from my team took anything, either.… Trump’s statement attacking not just my character but also that of all the men and women I had the honor of serving with was repugnant. These people had raised their right hands and sacrificed a year or more of their lives in one of the worst situations imaginable, all for their country…. It’s infuriating to hear a billionaire real estate mogul…speak so callously against a group of Americans whom he knows next to nothing about.”

Trump Insults Our Military

  • Trump: “Our military is a disaster.”
  • NYT: “Donald J. Trump, who received draft deferments through much of the Vietnam War, told the author of a coming biography that he nevertheless ‘always felt that I was in the military’ because of his education at a military-themed boarding school.”
  • Trump on Armored Humvees: “If a bomb goes off our wounded warriors–instead of losing their legs, their arms, worse, they’re okay. They go for a little ride upward and they come down.”

Trump Businesses Have Fired Employees Because Of Their Military Service

  • HuffPo: Trump Institute Fired Veteran For ‘Absences’ After He Was Deployed To Afghanistan
  • CNN: Iraq war veteran claims Trump University fired her for serving in the Army Reserve
  • HuffPo: Third Veteran Dumped By Trump Because Of Military Service

Trump Repeatedly Lied About Donations To Veterans Charities

  • Washington Post: Here’s how we found out about Donald Trump’s phantom $1 million donation to vets
  • Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum: “If character is supposed to be important in our presidents, this is evidence of the most contemptible kind of character imaginable. He tried to cheat a bunch of veterans!”
  • CNN: Trump’s website boasts that he gave $1 million to the 1995 Nation’s Day Parade, but the event’s organizer said that’s nearly three times more than he actually gave.

Trump Scammed Veterans Through Trump University

  • CNN [VIDEO]: 40-year Navy veteran scammed out of more than $26,000 by Trump University
  • Ex-Marine: “[Trump University] was a con. I’m 25-years-old, barely making $3,000 a month and they told me to increase my credit limit. I just maxed out three credit cards and I’m supposed to be able to qualify for loans to buy real estate? Those stupid principles have led me to borrow $700,000 of other people’s money and lose it all. I’m still paying off some of that debt to this day.”
  • TIME: “The records indicate, for example, that Trump University collected approximately $40 million from its students–who included veterans, retired police officers and teachers–and that Trump personally received approximately $5 million of it”

Trump Insults Prisoners Of War

  • Trump on Sen. John McCain: “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured, ok? I hate to tell you.”
  • USA Today: McCain: Trump should apologize to POWs
  • BuzzFeed: Trump: I Don’t Regret McCain Comments, My Poll Numbers Went Up

Trump Attempted To Kick Disabled Veterans Who Were Vendors Off The Street Across Two Decades

  • 1991: Trump Letter to State Assemblyman John Dearie: “While disabled veterans should be given every opportunity to earn a living, is it fair to do so to the detriment of the city as a whole or its tax paying citizens and businesses?… Do we allow Fifth Ave., one of the world’s finest and most luxurious shopping districts, to be turned into an outdoor flea market, clogging and seriously downgrading the area?”
  • 2004: Trump Letter to Mayor Bloomberg: “Whether they are veterans or not, they should not be allowed to sell on this most important and prestigious shopping street… I hope you can stop this very deplorable situation before it is too late.”