There’s a reason many former military officers think Trump isn’t fit to shine the shoes of servicemembers. The president who distinguished himself during Vietnam by avoiding the draft five times and mocked John McCain for being a prisoner of war has never shown much interest in or compassion for the military – unless he thought they could look good during a PR stunt.
So with that in mind it was probably too much to expect Trump to handle his first military disaster with even a modicum of grace.
In an explosive admission, Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump was not in the Situation Room when he made the decision to ignore numerous warning signs and send a Navy SEAL team into hostile territory.
U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.
As a result, three officials said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger than expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists.
The result of that mission was a hopeless firefight. A dead Navy SEAL. A dead American girl. And a downed helicopter. An all-in-all disaster.
Trying to spin it, Spicer said “when you look at the totality of what was gained to prevent the future loss of life … it is a successful operation by all standards.” What “standards” does the White House have any more if this is considered a success?
And where was Trump while this whole tragedy was unfolding? According to Spicer, he was holed up in the residency. The man whom insiders claim is addicted to television and won’t take intelligence briefings could not be bothered to join his military commanders as they processed the unfolding situation.
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) February 2, 2017
As columnist Tommy Christopher points out, Trump was busy tweeting petty bullshit around the time he learned he had gotten – just one week on the job – one of America’s servicemembers killed during the bad call. At daybreak the next morning, Trump was busy settling scores to fill the void in his defective heart.
Somebody with aptitude and conviction should buy the FAKE NEWS and failing @nytimes and either run it correctly or let it fold with dignity!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2017
Vindictive smears on the New York Times for running a lengthy, well-sourced piece on what a trainwreck his administration had been. (Ironically, the article was published before news of the botched Yemen operation broke, so that wasn’t included in the summary but could have been.)
One might expect the very first blood on a president’s hands would be a sobering, somber moment. As leader of the United States, there will be times that the president makes tough calls that result in people’s deaths. It comes with the territory. The scary part isn’t that it happens, but that Trump seems incapable of getting past his own ego to mourn the dead or assess his own culpability in it.
Disgusting behavior from a boorish man.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images