“Jennifer Griffin should be fired for this kind of reporting. Never even called us for comment. @FoxNews is gone!”

Donald Trump on Fox News reporter who validated the recent Atlantic Monthly article

For a president who says he loves the military more than his predecessors and, without any evidence or military experience (avoiding service using college deferments and bone spurs), claims to know more about it and combat than our generals, his words and actions speak volumes about his true concern for our men and women in uniform.

At the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa in July 2015, he denigrated Vietnam POW and then Senator John McCain; “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” 

After McCain’s passing, it took President Trump two days before ordering the White House’s flags lowered, doing so only after intense public criticism; and purportedly said, "What the f— are we doing that for?  Guy was a f—ing loser".

Although he finally sent Air Force 747, tail number 28000 (it’s only Air Force One when the president is aboard) to bring his body back to Washington, Trump falsely claimed he, “gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as President I had to approve”.  And, after being disinvited, Trump is alleged to have said, “We're not going to support that loser's funeral."

In typical style, he also took a shot at another former heroic navy fighter pilot and former president, George H.W. Bush, whom he also referred to as a “loser” for being shot down at the Battle of Midway. 

McCain and Bush both valued “duty, honor, and country” and their oath to “support and defend the constitution” and volunteered to serve their country, consciously aware they were putting their lives in harm’s way.  These unselfish concepts are alien to Trump’s transactional and narcissistic nature in which monetary return and personal accolades are his only measures of success.

When Trump's fantasized about a July 4th military parade after witnessing France’s Bastille Day parade in 2017, Fox News cited the President’s reaction to the proposed inclusion of wounded warriors; "wounded guys", "that's not a good look" and "Americans don't like that." 

The president has had uncomplimentary comments about most senior military officers who worked in his administration, describing his former chief of staff, retired Gen. John Kelly as being "eaten alive" and "unable to handle the pressure of this job," and referred to retired four-star general James Mattis as “our country’s most overrated general.”  More broadly, Trump has been quoted as saying; “My f—ing generals are a bunch of pussies,”

Fast forward to recent revelations in Jeffery Goldberg’s commentary in The Atlantic: citing quotes attributed to Trump;  

  • The president apparently made uncomfortable remarks to General Kelly during a 2017 visit to Arlington National Cemetery when, as the two stood beside Kelly's son's grave, he reportedly said to Kelly, "I don't get it. What was in it for them?"
  • In 2018, the president decided to skip a ceremony at a World War I veteran cemetery, telling senior staff: "Why should I go to that cemetery?  It's filled with losers."  Weather may have prevented traveling by helicopter, but others made the trip by car to pay their respects to fallen US veterans.
  • Trump has allegedly and repeatedly called lost service members and POWs “losers” and “suckers”.

Trump predictably labeled such negative reports, although verified by numerous sources including Fox News, as a “hoax”; his go-to description of unfavorable news and facts.

Despite U.S. Intelligence agencies and a Republican-led Senate Intelligence committee stating unequivocally Russia interfered with our 2016 elections to help Trump and are engaged in stepped-up efforts in the run-up to the 2020 elections, the president defends Putin, blaming China and the Ukraine before changing the subject.

Trump refuses to publicly confront Putin despite credible evidence Russia placed bounties on our military personnel in the Middle East, claiming he was never briefed; despite intelligence committee briefers stating such information was in the President Daily Briefing Book months ago. 

As a retired Naval Officer, I am appalled at the president using the military as mere props for campaign-style rallies and photo-ops, while clearly disrespecting the values of duty, honor, country and devotion to the constitution, principals the nation’s men and women in uniform embrace. 

He is an unworthy Commander-in-Chief.