In lieu of actually visiting America’s combat troops — something he’s failed to do since the start of his presidency, reportedly because he’s afraid of being killed — Donald Trump phoned it in today, holding a Thanksgiving conference call with deployed forces.
Yet the president couldn’t even complete this bare minimum attempt at showing respect to the military without screwing it up, according to retired Lt. General Mark Hertling, a CNN military analyst.
Hertling lambasted Trump on CNN this morning for improperly discussing political issues with armed forces commanders in front of the troops and the entire world describing the president’s rambling comments as “flat-out wrong.”
The cable news network described the president’s call earlier today as touching on a host of domestic political issues that are typically taboo to discuss in military circles.
“Speaking with a US general in Afghanistan, Trump likened the fight against terrorists to his efforts to prevent a group of migrants from illegally entering the United States, and he assailed federal judges who have ruled against his administration. The President also pressed the commanding officer of a Coast Guard ship in Bahrain on trade before touting his trade policies and arguing that ‘every nation in the world is taking advantage of us.'”
Hertling praised both the commanders and the troops for their professional response to Trump’s uncalled-for excursion into political topics, describing their reaction as “true leadership” despite being placed in a “very bad” situation.
“The president bringing up political issues with those commanders in front of their soldiers is a horrible position to put them in,” Hertling said. “And you notice that not a single one of them commented on really what were some obvious distortions of issues, like judges.”
The retired general was particularly upset by Trump’s publicly discussing sensitive information about weapons systems with the commander of the USS Ronald Reagan.
“He was put in a position on commenting about Navy readiness and the type of equipment that (is) on aircraft carriers, announcing it to the whole world, how what is happening with different types of experimental launch systems,” Hertling said. “All of those things are just flat-out wrong.”
Another CNN military analyst, retired Rear Adm. John Kirby, also attacked Trump’s call with the troops as an unmitigated disaster.
“This was, sadly, predictable and avoidable,” said Kirby. “The President’s conduct on that call, the manner in which he politicized it, demonstrated an utter and complete disregard for what military service means.”
The draft-dodging Commander-in-Chief continues to falter in his ability to inspire our military, instead of providing a sad example of self-centered obliviousness to the nature of true patriotism and service to others. We await a Thanksgiving where we can give thanks for his departure from the national scene entirely.
You can watch a clip of retired Lt. General Mark Hertling speaking on CNN in the video below.
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