Hagel: Trump Uses the Military as ‘Props’

On Sunday’s broadcast of ABC’s “This Week,” former Obama Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel accused President Donald Trump of using the U.S. military as “props.”

Reacting to The Atlantic article claiming the president said Americans who died in war were “losers” and “suckers,” Hagel said, “My reaction is if these comments are real, and I’ll address that in a second, but if they’re real, it’s beneath the dignity of any commander-in-chief. Truly they’re despicable. Now, one of the points that veterans made, which was a good point — these are anonymous sources but let’s go back and look at the words from Trump himself—starting in 2016 about what he said about John McCain and what he continued to say about John McCain. How he denigrated the service of Generals Mattis, McMaster, and most recently, General Kelly, the history of this president over the last three, four years is pretty clear. That 2018 experience when he did not go to the American military cemetery in France to recognize and honor the World War I Marines. Every other leader went, every other leader drove, leaders of France, Germany and Canada.”

He continued, “He’s on the record with saying things himself over the past few years. And that makes the credibility of this article and those anonymous comments more and more credible.”

He added, “I think it’s a pretty clear indictment of this president’s attitude towards the veterans. He’ll use them, of course, he’ll use them as props in his actions, in his statements. No president has ever done that, use your veterans, use your active military as props. I mean, a couple of months ago he sends an airborne division, camps them outside of Washington, the mayor and the police chief didn’t ask for that. But it’s the continuation of the same actions and words that we have seen for this president the last 3 1/2 years.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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