OPINION by Hal Brown
This was reported in November of 2018 (scroll down the Political Wire story here and read the comments) but the story didn’t reemerge in the news until the article in The Atlantic.
Vanity Fair: “Trump remained in a dark mood during his weekend trip to France to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I… On Saturday morning, Trump skipped attending a rain-soaked ceremony at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery to honor the Battle of Belleau Wood. When his absence became a scandal, the White House said the decision had been made because Marine One reportedly could not fly in the rain, and Secret Service did not want Trump traveling by motorcade. One Republican briefed on the internal discussions said the real reason Trump did not want to go was because there would be no tent to stand under.”
Said the source: “He was worried his hair was going to get messed up in the rain. John Bolton and everyone was telling him this was a big mistake.”
The story isn’t going away.
THE ARMY'S MOST SENIOR officer pushed back yesterday on assertions that Defense Department leaders choose to continue fighting wars abroad in an attempt to keep private defense firms "happy."
I don't think the timing is an accident that Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville pushed back Tuesday on President Donald Trump's assertions that Defense Department leaders choose to continue fighting wars abroad in an attempt to keep private defense firms 'happy.'"
I think it is his way to respond to the stories about Trump disparaging soldiers without actually addressing this specifically.
Top brass have had enough. This is very significant because even though McConville is not as well-known a name as the chair of The Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley is (none of the other members are well known to the public) he is still a member.
McConville at first declined to comment on Trump's increased criticism of the Pentagon's top leaders in recent days, saying the military is apolitical, and must remain that way particularly during an election year. He later responded when asked about private companies' influence in the decision to go to war....
.... McConville on Tuesday also said that the issue of Army bases named for Confederate generals has affected some of his soldiers, saying, "it's a very emotional issue." Trump has previously tweeted that he does not want the military to consider renaming those bases.
"What we want to do, at least as the leadership of the Army, is identify those things that may divide us and take a look at and come up with solutions that may bring everyone together and make us a more cohesive team," McConville said. from https://www.usnews.com/news...
Hopefully other generals, current and retired, will speak out. The more well known (Mattis and Kelly for example) the better, but two generals would be better than one, and three better than two. As they see the president harming the morale of those under their comment, and also unable to do anything to punish them, hopefully they will be emboldened.
On March 9, 2020 New York Times columnist Jennifer Senior wrote:
That news conference was, to me, the most frightening moment of the Trump presidency. His preening narcissism, his compulsive lying, his vindictiveness, his terror of germs and his terrifying inability to grasp basic science — all of it eclipsed his primary responsibilities to us as Americans, which was to provide urgent care, namely in the form of leadership.
Jennifer Senior, NY Times OpEd “The President is Unfit for This Crisis. Period.”
I was so struck by the phrase “preening narcissism” that I wrote the diary below which was my most recommended ever and the only thing original about it was my illustration.
Of all the things that could push Trump into “from this you don’t recover” territory it is somehow fitting that his preening narcissism could give him the final nudge into the arid desert where the oasis of victory over the next sand dune turns out to be mirage or more likely a fever induced hallucination.
I looked up Trump crawling to see if I could add him to the above illustration and found this:
Making Mount Everest great again! Donald Trump awkwardly climbing a golf course green becomes the subject of a Photoshop challenge
Trump won’t shut up about this and thus he keeps the story in the news. An advisor would have been smart to tell him that he should make one statement and never address the subject again. It should have been simply “this story is not true and I will not dignify the subject with any further comments.” No name calling, no disparaging The Atlantic or calling for a Fox News reporter to be fired. He wouldn’t have listened of course.