7 Ways Donald Trump Has Disrespected Veterans

President Donald Trump talks a big game when it comes to his love of the troops, but his actions and off-the-cuff comments often undermine that assertion. For a man who once claimed, “I will help the veterans like no one else,” he’s done a lot to make veterans question his sincerity.

As Trump calls on the country to honor our vets this Veterans Day, let’s be sure to show these men and women more respect than the commander-in-chief himself. Here are some of his more disgraceful moments related to veterans’ issues:

1. Insulting a War Hero

During his campaign, Trump took aim at a high-profile former prisoner of war: Senator John McCain. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump told a crowd. “He was [considered] a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

That’s a pretty caustic summation of a highly respected man who spent over five years held hostage in Vietnam while serving in the U.S. military. When the media hounded him about this statement, Trump later claimed he hadn’t said that, despite it being on tape.

For the record, McCain recently said that Trump never apologized to him for these comments. It’s clear that Trump didn’t learn his lesson either: soon after criticizing McCain, Trump got into a highly public feud with a Gold Star family.

2. Blocking Veterans on Twitter

In June, Trump blocked a veterans group on Twitter after it responded to his posts critically. About half a million U.S. vets belong to VoteVets.org, and Trump effectively silenced their concerns with his leadership by blocking the organization’s account.

“Trump only wants to surround himself with Yes-men,” said Will Fischer, the director of government affairs for VoteVets. “This is part of a long narrative of Trump’s disregard for veterans and military families.”

3. Using Dead Soldiers to Try to Score Political Points

For no apparent reason last month, Trump congratulated himself on calling the families of pretty much all fallen soldiers, while simultaneously saying that Barack Obama and “most” other presidents didn’t bother to extend the same courtesy.

While it was probably an attempt to make himself look good, he came out looking even more rotten when his claim was easily refuted – Obama and other presidents did, in fact, reach out to the families of troops killed in the line of duty. It was downright tacky for him to suggest otherwise.

Trump looked even worse when it turned out he himself hadn’t reached out to a lot of military families. As the press caught word of this news, the White House rushed to extend belated condolences in an effort to save face. Perhaps better late than never, but it’s clear he was inflating his own respect for the military and got caught in the process.

4. Lying About Donations to Veterans

Early in the primary season, Trump skipped a debate (it’s not really his forte) with the excuse that he’d host a fundraiser for veterans instead. He boasted that he raised $6 million for veterans, but the media later discovered that the amount fell well short of that figure. In fact, the Trump campaign could only show that $2.9 million had been sent to veterans charities, giving no explanation for why the rest of the money hadn’t been sent.

Trump also claimed to have given $1 million of his own personal fortune to such charities, which similarly was not true. When news broke that Trump never followed through, he immediately cut a check to cover his butt. As with the letters, he had to be called out on it first – otherwise, he was perfectly content to take credit for good deeds he had never actually done.

5. Getting Off Track in Speech for Veterans

We’ve seen many times how easy it is for Trump to derail his train of thought and start talking about personal grievances. One would hope he would have a bit more control when giving a speech meant to honor veterans, but this summer he got off track and started ranting about the “fake media” anyway.

“I’m president and they’re not,” he gloated to the vets, seeming to forget – at least momentarily – that he was there to honor someone other than himself. Attendees compared the event to one of his over-the-top campaign rallies.

6. Suggesting That Suicidal Veterans Are Weak

Delivering a speech about the mental health of veterans, Trump said that some soldiers are “strong” enough to handle the horrors of war, but others “can’t handle it.” Many veterans and mental health advocates alike were offended at the implication that those who suffer from PTSD or depression following their service are somehow weak.

In Trump’s defense, this could very well be an example of him bungling his words (hey, it seems to happen a lot) and he didn’t mean it to come off the way it did. He was, after all, advocating for giving the VA more resources.

7. Trump Comparing His Own Bravery

Trump famously avoided going to war by receiving five draft deferments in his younger years. At a rally full of veterans, he acknowledged that the crowd was brave to fight in wars he wasn’t willing to participate in, but then couldn’t help but grant himself some credit anyway:

“I’m brave in other ways,” he told the veterans. “I’m brave. I’m financially brave.”

Financially brave. That’s a thing worth mentioning to people who have received the Medal of Honor, right? Arguably, the real financially brave people are those who continued to do business with him after his companies have filed for bankruptcy four times.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill11 days ago

This is a bunch of innuendo and half-truths.

Peggy B
Peggy B2 months ago


Richard A
Richard A2 months ago

John W - stated - "Out of context quotes, used in a deceptive way, misrepresentation of facts, and outright lying. The author of this article should become a politician as they have the quality most politicians seem to have; namely being a disingenuous liar!"

John W, in the above, accompanying article, could you possibly, and would you please cite with references;
Where there are " Out of context quotes, used in a deceptive way?"
Where are the "misrepresentation of facts?"
Where is the " outright lying?"

I have read the article and I have read the accompanying linked references.
I see no "Out of context quotes, used in a deceptive way, misrepresentation of facts, and outright lying."

John W, try to use real facts, not alt-facts.

Regus Slantei
Regus Slantei2 months ago

"Out of context quotes, used in a deceptive way, misrepresentation of facts, and outright lying"

A more accurate auto-biographical admission has seldom been made, John W.

You leveled those nebulous charges against the author of this story, but you proved no specifics, and you certainly did NOT present any independent evidence to refute the author's specific allegations. What are you, in 2nd grade?

You sound just like your Bronze-Hued $hitgibbon: throw a tantrum and call everything "fake" that doesn't fit the discredited fairytale you are trying to sell.

Leo Custer
Leo C2 months ago

thank you for posting!

Esther S
Esther S2 months ago

lock them all up, the whole Trump Administration is a cheating scam, they ALL must do time in jail, in a real prison, not a golf-jail. Go Muller, lock them all up them F***ers

Sharon R
Past Member 2 months ago

This is terrible! Thank you for the article.

Janis K
Janis K2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Jonathan H
Jonathan Harper2 months ago


Winn A
Winn A2 months ago

And, if you think it will stop you are sadly mistaken. tRUMP should be impeached and put in jail.