The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) asked for an apology on Friday from President Trump after Trump downplayed head injuries by soldiers stationed in Iraq. Sen. Tom Cotton, always an obsequious company man for Team Trump, said that Trump had said nothing wrong.
After Iran launched a missile strike at an Iraqi base earlier this month that held American soldiers, Trump initially said there were no injuries, but the military later announced that a number had suffered traumatic brain injuries and concussions.
“They had headaches and a couple of other things but I would say, I can report, that it’s not very serious,” President Trump said during a press conference last week in Davos, Switzerland, where he was attending a getaway for plutocrats.
The Pentagon revealed Friday that 34 U.S. service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries suffered during the strike, including 8 who had been treated in Germany and were then sent to the U.S. for further treatment and 9 more still undergoing treatment and being evaluated in Germany.
In its statement, the VFW said that Trump’s remarks “minimized these troops’ injuries. …The VFW expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks.”
On CBS Face the Nation yesterday, Cotton said the VFW was wrong. Trump was “not dismissing their injuries, he’s describing their injuries.” Okay. Check it out at the 9:35 mark in the video. It’s quite a performance, a kind of automaton apologia lurching forward despite the hosts’s queries or the video of Trump we’ve plainly seen dismissing the injuries.
Here’s the full statement from the VFW on Trump’s comments:
“In light of today’s announcement from the defense department that 34 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of Iran’s retaliatory strike and President Trump’s remarks which minimized these troops’ injuries, the Veterans of Foreign Wars cannot stand idle on this matter.
TBI is a serious injury and one that cannot be taken lightly. TBI is known to cause depression, memory loss, severe headaches, dizziness and fatigue — all injuries that come with both short- and long-term effects.
The VFW expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks. And, we ask that he and the White House join with us in our efforts to educate Americans of the dangers TBI has on these heroes as they protect our great nation in these trying times. Our warriors require our full support more than ever in this challenging environment.” — William “Doc” Schmitz, VFW National Commander