This week, Donald Trump was questioned about his lack of contact with the grieving families of four Green Berets killed in an ambush in Niger earlier this month. He responded by fabricating an outrageous lie about Obama never calling the families of fallen soldiers, which incurred yet more backlash. We all know how the president responds to criticism.
NBC Miami reports that Trump did finally get around to calling Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, who was among those killed. While on the phone, in a conversation heard on speakerphone by David Johnson’s mother and Florida Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, Trump allegedly told the women that Johnson “must have known what he signed up for” in a disrespectful tone of voice.
Holy fucking hell.
Trump has denied that he said any such thing, targeting Wilson, who first came forward with the account:
Wilson had not backed down from her story, however:
And Johnson’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, has also verified Wilson’s account, telling The Washington Post, “President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband.”
It is truly astounding that Donald Trump can’t even perform basic human empathy for the amount of time it takes to make a condolence phone call. He could literally have read everything he needed to say off a piece of paper and been done. And media does love it when Trump manages to talk to a war widow without shitting the bed, so it would have been to his benefit to have cue cards. Remember the night he first “became president?”
How far our standards have fallen since February.
Let’s not forget Trump’s bizarrely contentious relationship with the military in general, particularly his attacks against the family of Humayun Khan, who was killed in 2004 and posthumously awarded a purple heart. Khazir Khan, his father, spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2016, offering Trump his copy of the United States Constitution to read. Trump claimed Khan had “viciously attacked” him afterwards, and mocked his wife.
Trump himself attended and graduated from the New York Military Academy. One of his fellow students, Sandy MacIntosh, wrote an essay about his memories of Trump in the Academy for the New York Daily News in August. According to MacIntosh, it may have been the last place anyone made Trump feel powerless:
Trump’s first year, under the command of Major Theodore Dobias, was hellish. Dobias slapped and punched him until he learned to make his bed and polish his shoes — things that Donald, an aggressive little wiseguy, had at first refused to do.
Perhaps a traumatic experience for a teen sent away from his life of coddling and luxury, and there’s nothing that Trump resembles so much as a child lashing out at anyone who makes him feel small. You want him to make a phone call? He’ll make a phone call.