Progressive veteran groups blast Trump calling dead soldiers ‘losers’ – Business Insider – Business Insider

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  • Military veterans reacted harshly to a report in The Atlantic that President Donald Trump referred to dead soldiers as “losers.”
  • “Why should I go to that cemetery?” Trump reportedly told senior staff, canceling a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetary outside of Paris in 2018. “It’s filled with losers,” he said, later referring to the dead as “suckers.”
  • “Who is really surprised by this?” tweeted Paul Rieckhoff, a combat veteran and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “This is who he is…. [he] has no respect for anyone.”
  • “This story doesn’t just make me angry. It makes me feel sick,” tweeted Will Goodwin, a graduate of West Point who now serves as director of government relations at VoteVets.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A report that President Trump said US soldiers who died in World War I were “losers” has gone over about as well as you think it might it would among liberal military veterans.

While veterans groups such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars have thus far stayed out of the controversy, others more openly critical of Trump’s leadership have reacted angrily to Thursday’s story in The Atlantic, which reported that the US president didn’t see the need to honor 1,800 marines who died fighting in France.

“Why should I go to that cemetery?” Trump reportedly told senior staff, canceling a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery outside of Paris in 2018. “It’s filled with losers,” he said, later referring to the dead as “suckers.”

The comments are reminiscent of Trump’s 2015 mockery of Sen. John McCain. “He’s not a war hero,” he said of McCain, who was helped captive and tortured in Vietnam. “I like people that weren’t captured.”

Indeed, The Atlantic reported that he referred to McCain as a “f—ing loser.” He also reportedly called former President George H.W. Bush a “loser” for being shot down while serving as a Navy pilot in World War II.

The White House has denied the story. A senior Defense Department official later confirmed it in “its entirety,” according to the Associated Press.

“Who is really surprised by this?” tweeted Paul Rieckhoff, a combat veteran and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “This is who he is,” said Rieckhoff, who supporters Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign for the presidency, arguing Trump “has no respect for anyone.”

According to The Atlantic, Trump disrespected the loss of his chief of staff, John Kelly, whose son Robert died fighting in Afghanistan.

“I don’t get it,” Trump reportedly said during a 2017 trip to Arlington National Cemetery. “What was in it for them?”

“This story doesn’t just make me angry. It makes me feel sick,” tweeted Will Goodwin, a graduate of West Point who now serves as director of government relations at VoteVets, a progressive political action committee. “It’s disgusting. It’s an unthinkable betrayal.”

Wall of Vets, a group of veterans that has organized to defend Black Lives Matter protests in Portland, posted that “words fail.”

“This is the Commander in Chief and this is how he views our fallen brothers and sisters,” the group said on Twitter.

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