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Following the publication yesterday of Jeffrey Goldberg's Atlantic story about how Donald Trump is a jerk who thinks US soldiers are all idiots and that military cemeteries are full of losers, the Trumposphere leapt into motion. In its usual clumsy attempts to defend the indefensible, the White House pointed out that since Goldberg's story was based on anonymous sources, it was almost certainly false, because why won't these sources come forward to face the wrath of the angriest cult of personality in American political history? Here's White House spokesungulate Judd Deere, waggling his horns at you:

And please never mind that both the Associated Press and the Washington Post were able to quickly confirm Goldberg's accounts of horrible things Trump has said, because those stories also relied on unnamed sources. Oddly enough, though, for all the Trumpenvolk insisting Donald Trump is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful troop supporter they've ever known, there was a distinct non-outpouring of support from one corner: We haven't yet seen military folks gushing about how wonderful Trump has been to them.

Now, active-duty folks are aren't allowed to get political, for good reason, but we aren't yet seeing any wave of retired generals or admirals coming forward to speak up for Trump. And of course, it was a "senior Defense Department official" who confirmed to the AP's Jim LaPorta that Goldberg's story was true "in its entirety."

No, if nutball Mike Flynn pops up to say the story was false, that won't count.


Donald Trump his own self denied the story yesterday as he returned to Washington from a superspreader event in Pennsylvania, telling reporters it was all made up by very bad people who were losers and idiots that he's glad he fired, whoever they were.

What animal would say such a thing? [...] And especially since I've done more, I think more than almost anybody, to help our military to get the budgets, to get the pay raises for our military. So I just think it's a horrible thing that they are allowed to write that. We can refute it. We have other people that will refute it.

It is a disgraceful situation by a magazine that is a terrible magazine. [...] I don't read it. I just heard about it, but they made it up. Probably it's a couple of people that have been failures in the administration.

Trump also took to Twitter, where he said he never cared much for John McCain, but that he had certainly never called McCain a "loser," no no no, and then people immediately posted video of the 2015 Iowa town hall where Trump called McCain a loser. Let's remind ourselves of how that actually happened, shall we?

Trump defenders may spring to his defense by insisting that Trump was merely calling McCain a "loser" because he lost the 2008 election, not because he was shot down, but the contempt is palpable.

In his Twitter comments, Trump made additional dubious claims; again, we'll post the text so our poor sad platform won't eat the tweets:

I was never a big fan of John McCain, disagreed with him on many things including ridiculous endless wars and the lack of success he had in dealing with the VA and our great Vets, but the lowering of our Nations American Flags, and the first class funeral he was given by our....

..Country, had to be approved by me, as President, & I did so without hesitation or complaint. Quite the contrary, I felt it was well deserved. I even sent Air Force One to bring his body, in casket, from Arizona to Washington. It was my honor to do so. Also, I never called..

....John a loser and swear on whatever, or whoever, I was asked to swear on, that I never called our great fallen soldiers anything other than HEROES. This is more made up Fake News given by disgusting & jealous failures in a disgraceful attempt to influence the 2020 Election!

He will swear on one of those things people swear on, whatever they're called. He hears people fall for that shit all the time.

But sure, Trump really went out of his way to approve the state functions for a high-ranking senator and war hero that are a matter of course for presidents. Let's also recall that Trump didn't issue any official White House statement on McCain's death at all, after quashing a draft that called him a "hero." And also that Trump observed the absolute minimal lowering of the White House flag as prescribed by the Flag Code, for just two days, while flags at the Washington Monument and the Capitol remained at half-staff, resulting in this remarkable photo; after the predictable uproar, the White House flag went back to half staff.

Still, Trump's bestest friends on his White House staff all vouched for his love for the military, at least for the moment, as some no doubt are negotiating post-presidency book deals.

Very Credible Human Sarah Huckabee Sanders also vouched for what a kind and caring person Donald Trump is, noting that he had actually made phone calls to the families of soldiers killed in action, while whoever Alyssah Farah is noted he "solemnly" signed letters to them, too! And he definitely never called the war dead losers to their families' faces.

If you can't believe Sarah Sanders, by Crom, well you must be someone who was paying attention.

Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Air Force One last night that he'd spoken to Stephen Miller, who was on the trip to France in 2018 when Trump reportedly called WWI war dead "losers" and "suckers," and the architect of Trump's racist immigration policy was quite certain he never heard the Great Man disparage the troops. So there's a credible supporter, too!

And former Trump flack Hogan Gidley said some bullshit too, fuck him.

On the other hand, actual veterans were quick to condemn Trump, as were decent normal human beings, because we're not a bunch of sociopaths. Here's former Air Force search and rescue pilot MJ Hegar, who's running for the US Senate in Texas:

Hegar also appeared on the "Rachel Maddow Show" last night, and said she's "never heard anyone, Democrat or Republican" say such horrifying things about military folks.

Retired Navy fighter pilot and astronaut Mark Kelly was disgusted, too; he's running for Senate in Arizona, seeking the seat formerly held by McCain.

And of course, Joe Biden, who knows what it means to be the parent of a military member, and knows that people who suffer aren't shameful, said normal human being things about the "president" who is anything but:

If the revelations in today's Atlantic article are true, then they are yet another marker of how deeply President Trump and I disagree about the role of the President of the United States. [..] I have long said that, as a nation, we have many obligations, but we only have one truly saved obligation — to prepare and equip those we send into harm's way, and to care for them and their families.

We remember not being impressed by what we considered weaksauce calls for Democrats to simply run on restoring basic norms of decency to government. As Trump hollowly thunders through what we hope will be his final months in office, a return to normalcy is actually sounding not just good, but almost too much to hope for.

[NBC News / Atlantic / Business Insider / Politico / HuffPo]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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