With the veil of objectivity finally lifted, the media has taken to full-on smears of Donald Trump. Over the past 24 hours, many outlets have suggested that comments made by Trump at an event with retired military leaders were an insult to veterans with PTSD.
“When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat and they see things that maybe a lot of folks in this room have seen many times over and you’re strong and you can handle it but a lot of people can’t handle it,” Trump said. “They see horror stories, they see events you couldn’t see in a movie, nobody would believe it.”
The media immediately pounced on Trump’s comments.
“Donald Trump suggested Monday that American soldiers and veterans who commit suicide do so because they can’t handle the post-traumatic stress of war,” one CNN reporter declared breathlessly.
The Trump campaign quickly responded to the accusations.
“Mr. Trump was highlighting the challenges veterans face when returning home after serving their country. He has always respected the service and sacrifice of our military men and women—proposing reforms to Veteran Affairs to adequately address the various issues veterans face when they return home,” Lt. General Michael Flynn, an advisor to the GOP nominee, said in a statement. “The media continues to operate as the propaganda arm of Hillary Clinton as they took Mr. Trump’s words out of context in order to deceive voters and veterans — an appalling act that shows they are willing to go to any length to carry water for their candidate of choice,” Flynn added.
Despite the media’s attempts to twist Trump’s words, a number of veterans are coming to his defense. One such vet is Marine Staff Sgt. Chad Robicheaux. Sgt. Robicheaux, whose question had initially prompted Trump’s response, served eight tours in Afghanistan and struggled with PTSD himself.
“I think it’s sickening that anyone would twist Mr. Trump’s comments to me in order to pursue a political agenda,” Robichaux said in a statement. “I took his comments to be thoughtful and understanding of the struggles many veterans have, and I believe he is committed to helping them.”
Retired Army Lt. Col Allen West was far less diplomatic than Staff Sgt. Robichaux. On his website, Col. West, who was in attendance, wrote:
Ok, let me explain something to these liberal progressive media chuckleheads, having served in several combat zones myself. Yes, there are those who are able to deal with the rigors and challenges of combat better than others. That has been the case throughout the history of combat. To try and insinuate anything out of Mr. Trump’s comments other than what he said at face value is just evidence that he did well at the event — and the objective to find some bit of dirt had to be met.
What abject liars and deceivers these people are! On my salute hand, trigger finger, I wear the #22Kill.com ring, that signifies the 22 veterans on average who each day are taking their lives. Mr. Trump stated the obvious: that the challenges cast upon these young men and women by a system that lets them down seems too great to overcome.
Despite efforts to drive a wedge between Trump and his military support, polls regularly show that members of the military overwhelmingly support the real estate mogul. One Military Times survey suggests the military prefers Trump by a margin of 2 to 1.