Former conservative radio host Charlie Sykes laid into Donald Trump on Wednesday for not only politicizing his visit to a combat zone in Iraq but also for calling U.S. troops “suckers.”
During an appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball, Sykes said, “You need to step back and reflect on the crass transactionalism of a president of the United States who would imply that men and women that served their country in the Middle East, perhaps given their lives, were suckers.”
He added, “I think it was an unfortunate event on top of a series of unfortunate events.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) December 27, 2018
Unfortunately, at this moment when you could have presidential grace and leadership on display, he chose to be petty and petulant as well. Standing in front of troops describing America’s commitments as being suckers is really deeply offensive when you think about it. Not only did he lie to the troops and politicize the event – lie to the troops about the salary increases – but to describe American commitments as being suckers. You need to step back and reflect on the crass transactionalism of a president of the United States would imply men and women that served their country in the Middle East, perhaps given their lives, were suckers. And this is the tone deafness that he has. To your point, yes, I think there are a lot of Americans that are more than willing to draw down, but the way it is being done, the betrayal of our allies, the lack of a process, the lack of consultation with the military, the lack of respect for somebody like General James Mattis, and that performance today, yes, the pictures are wonderful and maybe that’s all that people will take away from it, but I think it was an unfortunate event on top of a series of unfortunate events.
Trump couldn’t leave his pettiness at the door
Instead of taking a day off from his political pettiness, Donald Trump used his post-Christmas visit to troops to be the same embarrassment of a commander-in-chief that he always is.
During his visit, he whined about border wall funding, pat himself on the back and essentially called troops “suckers” to their faces.
Ultimately, Wednesday’s disastrous photo-op in Iraq clearly demonstrated why Donald Trump hasn’t visited any combat zone since taking office. It’s likely he won’t be doing so again for a while.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.