President Trump set off a firestorm earlier this week when he falsely claimed that Barack Obama never contacted the relatives of fallen soldiers.
Since then, he has been dogged by revelations calling into question the sincerity of his relationship with Gold Star families. The mother of a soldier slain in June claimed the president disrespected the family in a condolence call, telling his widow her husband "knew what he was signing up for" and referring to him merely as "your guy." The story took a local turn yesterday, when the father of a soldier from Wake County, who was gunned down
by Afghan police this summer, never received a promised check for $25,000 from Trump (the White House says the check is in the mail).
In response, North Carolina senator Thom Tillis has just one thing to say: Trump was better than Barack Obama.
"I think the president shows a lot of respect for our troops," Tillis told reporters yesterday
. "The president shows a lot of respect for our troops, up to and including the practice that we’ve seen in certain professional teams to not respect the image of the flag that these men and women are fighting and dying for. … I think that this president has shown more respect for our troops in the first nine months than the prior president did in eight years of office.”
In other words, castigating the NFL for allowing players to protest police violence toward African Americans is how you really show respect for the fallen. Right on, Thom.
Trump says that he has spoken to every family of a soldier killed in combat on his watch, but that’s not really true. Relatives of at least nine of the forty-three service members
who have died on Trump’s watch say they haven’t heard from him.