Trump at war
The military would be in rebellion, as would the CIA, as Andy Kroll profiles.
In the 1990s, Trump made headlines for lobbying the New York State legislature to ban disabled veterans from working as street vendors around Trump Tower. “Do we allow Fifth Avenue, one of the world’s finest and most luxurious shopping districts, to be turned into an outdoor flea market, clogging and seriously downgrading the area?” he wrote to a state assemblyman. Thirteen years later, he appealed again to then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Whether they are veterans or not,” he wrote, “[the vendors] should not be allowed to sell on this most important and prestigious shopping street.”
At times, his remarks on veterans and military service have veered into outright mockery. In a 1997 interview with Howard Stern, Trump likened his determination to avoid sexually transmitted infections to serving in combat. His sex life in the 1980s was “my personal Vietnam,” he said. “I feel like a great and very brave soldier.” Last summer, he declared that Senator John McCain—a former Navy pilot who was held prisoner for five and a half years and tortured by the North Vietnamese—was “not a war hero.” His reasoning: “I like people that weren’t captured.”
…“He completely misunderstands the military profession that he would head if he were the president,” said Robert Killebrew, a retired colonel who served in the Army for more than 30 years. Others were less polite. In a pair of ads produced by the American Future Fund, a retired Special Forces commander named Michael Waltz calls Trump a draft-dodger who “hasn’t served this country a day in his life,” and a Vietnam veteran, Tom Hanton, says that Trump’s quip about POWs was “the most infuriating comment I think I’ve heard from a politician in my entire life.” One former Marine infantry officer described Trump to me as a “fake-bake-ing chicken hawk” whose “knowledge of the Middle East could be trumped (sorry) by your average Georgetown sophomore.”