Elizabeth Neumann, former Deputy Secretary for Counterterrorism in the Department of Homeland Security, and Miles Taylor, former chief of staff at that department, said the account was true, saying Trump’s low opinion on soldiers killed and wounded in combat was well known within the administration.
Trump’s supporters included the secretary of state and the president himself, who dismissed the report as a bogus attack meant to harm his re-election. The Atlantic report was “totally false,” Trump told reporters Friday at the White House.
When asked if he should apologize for his comments about the deceased servicemen, Trump replied, “No, that’s a false story.
But a visibly angry Biden called the alleged comments “disgusting” and said Trump was “not fit to be commander-in-chief.”
“When my son volunteered and joined the US military – and went to Iraq for a year, won the Bronze Star and other accolades, he was no jerk,” said Biden, the rising voice, in remarks in Wilmington, Delaware. His son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015, was deployed to Iraq in 2008.
“If these statements are true, the president should humbly apologize to every Gold Star mom and dad and every Blue Star family,” Biden said. “Who the hell does he think he is?”
“I am always warned not to lose my temper,” Biden said. “Maybe it’s as close as I come to this campaign. This is just an indicator of the depth of our disagreement between the President and I over the role of President of the United States of America.
Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth, a Purple Heart recipient who lost both legs during a combat mission in Iraq, accused Trump of trying to “politicize and pervert our military to stroke his own ego” during the a call to the press organized by the Biden campaign.
“He’s a man who spends every day redefining the concept of narcissism; a man who has led a life of privilege, all given to him on a silver platter, ”said Duckworth. “Of course he thinks selfishly about war. He sees this as a transactional cost, rather than human lives and American bloodshed, for that’s how he’s seen his whole life. He does not understand the bravery and courage of others, because he never had any.
“I take my wheelchair and my titanium legs on Donald Trump’s supposed bone spur every day,” she added, referring to the reason Trump received project postponements during the war. Vietnam.
The call also included Democratic Congressman Conor Lamb, a Navy veteran, and Khizr Khan, a Gold Star father whose son was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2004.Khan said Trump was “incapable – let me say it again – he is incapable of understanding service, bravery and courage.”
“His soul cannot conceive of integrity and honor,” Khan continued. “His soul is that of a coward. ”
The secretary of state defended the president’s support for members of the military in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.
“I’ve never heard of that,” Mike Pompeo said of Trump calling the war dead “suckers”. “Indeed, just the opposite. I was with him in many places where there were both active duty military, guards, reservists and veterans. He’s a man who had the deepest respect for their service, and he always, always interacted with them that way. He loves these moments. He appreciates these people.
On Friday, the Biden campaign posted a video citing the president based on Atlantic history and later corroborating reports from the Washington Post and The Associated Press.
With the slogan “If you don’t respect our troops, you can’t lead them,” the video overlays alleged Trump quotes over footage of military cemeteries.