Medal of Honor recipient James C. McCloughan, whose image was replaced by the hero dog who chased down Islamic State (ISIS) founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a photo tweeted by President Trump, was not offended by the alteration and “laughed,” according to reports.
Trump set social media ablaze on Wednesday after tweeting an obviously photoshopped image, depicting him honoring the hero dog who chased al-Baghdadi into a tunnel, prompting the terrorist’s suicide:
AMERICAN HERO! pic.twitter.com/XCCa2sGfsZ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2019
The image, reportedly created by Daily Wire, drew fury from leftists, who raged on social media. Some members of the media attempted to “fact-check” the image, claiming that the dog was not, in fact, honored at the White House.
“I’ve requested details from the @WhiteHouse on this photo. There was no such canine event on today’s @POTUS schedule but there is a Medal of Honor ceremony set here for later today for an active duty Green Beret,” Voice of America White House bureau chief Steve Herman wrote, later confirming that it is, in fact, a photoshopped image:
I've requested details from the @WhiteHouse on this photo.
There was no such canine event on today's @POTUS schedule but there is a Medal of Honor ceremony set here for later today for an active duty Green Beret. https://t.co/NESINT9J4b
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) October 30, 2019
A WH official said "the dog is not at the WH." https://t.co/eJLqBMyKna
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) October 30, 2019
How could they possibly screw up a lovely story about a brave dog helping to capture the world's most wanted terrorist? By photoshopping said dog into a picture with Trump to remind us this president would never, ever, ever touch a dog in real life. https://t.co/OaEbFhbQ6P
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) October 30, 2019
Trump, bro, this is beyond gross. This is obviously photoshopped. It’s not even a meme or something funny to laugh at because the subject material is plausible for many people who do not examine the picture carefully and don’t notice the unnatural lines and silhouettes.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) October 30, 2019
That poor pooch https://t.co/kEtlGevLiB
— HuffPost UK (@HuffPostUK) October 30, 2019
The original image depicts the president honoring James C. McCloughan “a retired Army medic who is credited with saving the lives of 10 men during the war in Vietnam,” as the New York Times reports:
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) October 30, 2019
Many were outraged, accusing Trump of disrespecting McCloughan:
What a way to treat a war hero. Also, look forward to the tick tock about how much time Trump spends asking about the dog and how much executive branch effort is being made to get the dog to the White House. pic.twitter.com/VsALBoNnuS
— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) October 30, 2019
This is incredible. It is despicable. Additional words fail me. https://t.co/AJ8caUoM3W
— Matt Armstrong (@mountainrunner) October 30, 2019
James McCloughan ran through VietCong gunfire for 2 days, saving 10 men, taking shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade and small-arms fire into his head and arm, refusing a superior's order to evacuate. Today he was replaced by a picture of a dog https://t.co/BTDa3qv9KX
— David Freedlander (@freedlander) October 30, 2019
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) October 30, 2019
However, McCloughan was not bothered by the photo and even laughed about it, according to the New York Times:
In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. McCloughan, 73, who had not seen the image before a reporter sent it to him, said that he interpreted it as Mr. Trump recognizing the dog’s heroism. He was not offended and laughed when he compared the two images. https://t.co/z7rp3gz9GZ
— erin mccann | (@mccanner) October 30, 2019
In a phone interview on Wednesday, Mr. McCloughan, 73, who had not seen the image before a reporter sent it to him, said that he interpreted it as Mr. Trump recognizing the dog’s heroism. He certainly was not offended and laughed when he compared the two images.
After all, he said, Medal of Honor recipients accept on behalf of their entire teams, especially those that did not return from battle. And canines have long been part of war efforts.
“This recognizes the dog is part of that team of brave people,” he said.
WWMT reporter Mike Krafcik also spoke to McCloughan, who reiterated that he takes no offense.
“I’m not offended by another hero,” McCloughan stated, according to Krafcik:
Just spoke with Purple Heart recipient James McCloughan of South Haven. He said he wasn’t bothered by the altered photo shared by .@realDonaldTrump. “I’m not offended by another hero,” McCloughan said of the military dog injured in the al-Baghadadi raid.@wwmtnews https://t.co/8lIG4IH7E4 pic.twitter.com/ZyhGkTRSKW
— Mike Krafcik (@Mkrafcik) October 31, 2019
According to Trump, the hero dog “Conan” will visit the White House next week:
Thank you Daily Wire. Very cute recreation, but the “live” version of Conan will be leaving the Middle East for the White House sometime next week! https://t.co/Z1UfhxsSpT
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2019