Donald Trump reportedly made a callous comment about wounded veterans during Gen. Mark Milley’s 2019 welcome ceremony as the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, per a lengthy article by The Atlantic editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg published Thursday.
Trump reportedly demanded to know why a wounded veteran had been invited to perform “God Bless America” at the event, wrote Goldberg, who spent time with Milley for the piece.
At the event, the then-president congratulated and embraced U.S. Army Capt. Luis Avila, a veteran of five combat tours who lost a leg while on duty in Afghanistan.
But Trump then told Milley, who is leaving his role on Oct. 1: “Why do you bring people like that here? No one wants to see that, the wounded.”
Trump told Milley that Avila was not welcome at future public events.
Trump’s attitude “seemed superficial, callous, and, at the deepest human level, repugnant” to Milley, Goldberg wrote.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise, given Trump’s long history of making disparaging, insulting and offensive comments about veterans ― from reportedly describing fallen U.S. troops as “losers” and “suckers” to his criticism of the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was tortured during the Vietnam War, as a “fucking loser.”
Trump never served in the U.S. military, instead receiving five deferments to avoid the Vietnam draft.
His own personal Vietnam, he has said though, was avoiding contracting STDs.