Donald Trump's Awkward Relationship With the Troops (Timeline) - Rolling Stone
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Trump’s Awkward Relationship With the Troops (Timeline)

Attacking Gold Star families, outsourcing VA decisions to Mar-a-Lago pals, skipping out on Veterans Day ceremonies — your commander in chief, ladies and gentlemen

U.S. President Donald Trump puts on a military jacket as he meets the US troops at the U.S. Yokota Air Base, on the outskirts of Tokyo, . President Trump arrived in Japan Sunday on a five-nation trip to Asia, his second extended foreign trip since taking office and his first to Asia. The trip will take him to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and Philippines for summits of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEANAsia Trump, Tokyo, Japan - 05 Nov 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump puts on a military jacket as he meets the US troops at the U.S. Yokota Air Base, on the outskirts of Tokyo.


Nobody knows more about ISIS than Donald Trump does. Or about hunting down enemies. Or preventing terrorist attacks — believe him. The 45th president lacks military experience but seems to believe he would have served his country better than any of the men and women who actually chose to do so. He also brings his now familiar lack of tact and diplomacy to military traditions, which typically call for a measure of stately decorum. Here are the most striking examples of when Trump absolutely did not support the troops.

Trump is diagnosed with bone spurs, allowing him to dodge the draft for a final time, following four deferments during college. (The bone spurs, he later claims, healed on their own — not something bone spurs are known to do.) But sleeping around and not contracting STDs was his own “personal Vietnam,” he once said.

July 2015
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump says of Sen. John McCain, who spent five years as a prisoner of war. “I like people who weren’t captured.”

July 2016
After Khizr Khan, father of fallen Muslim soldier Capt. Humayun Khan, criticizes Trump at the Democratic National convention, saying Trump has “sacrificed nothing” for his country, Trump attacks the grieving father and speculates that a Clinton staffer wrote the speech and suggested Khan’s wife, Ghazala Khan, who appeared with him at the event, “wasn’t allowed” to speak.

October 2016
Speaking to a veterans group, Trump suggests that soldiers suffering from PTSD aren’t “strong.”

June 2017
Trump promises to start an online fundraiser for a grieving military father and to donate $25,000 but does neither until pressured by the media months later.

July 2017
In a tweet, without consulting his top military advisers, Trump announces he’s banning transgender service members, calling them burdensome and disruptive.

October 2017
Four soldiers are killed in Niger and Trump makes no comment for 12 days, but tells the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson that her husband “knew what he signed up for” when he calls to express his sympathy.

February 2018
Propaganda fail: Trump orders the Pentagon to plan a grand military parade for him to review down Pennsylvania Avenue. The dream, which includes period uniforms and an air display, is shelved when costs reach $92 million.

August 2018
The overhaul of the medical records for 9 million vets is guided by three members of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club — the head of Marvel Entertainment, a Palm Beach lawyer and a doctor — none of whom are government officials or have ever served in the military.

October 2018
Trump deploys more than 5,000 troops to the Mexico border to defend the country from a nonexistent “invasion” of migrants, a stunt that maybe, just maybe had to do with the midterm elections a week away. Plus, the troops were kept from home on Thanksgiving the following month.

November 2018
In France, Trump no-shows at a ceremony for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Reason: It was raining. Vive le coif!

November 2018
Trump skips a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington Cemetery, later explaining he was “extremely busy.”

November 2018
Frustrated by the Florida midterm recount, Trump tweets, “must go with election night” results, which would exclude ballots from service members overseas.

November 2018
After retired Adm. William McRaven criticizes Trump’s attacks on the media, Trump goes on the offensive, calling the former SEAL — who oversaw the killing of Osama bin Laden — a “Hillary Clinton fan” and an “Obama backer,” and suggests the military should have “got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner.”

December 2018
After nearly two years in office, Trump finally visits a combat zone, in Iraq, but lies to the troops, claiming he gave them a 10 percent pay raise (it was less than three percent).


In This Article: Donald Trump, US Military


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