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Ex-Bush Aide: Trump Lacks ‘Empathy’ For Families Of Slain Soldiers

The top ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration has joined the chorus of voices slamming President Trump for failing to make phone calls to the families of military troops killed in action.

After the president claimed he had called the relatives of all U.S. armed-services personnel who have died since he took office, several of the families came forward to set the record straight. They said they are still waiting to hear from Trump, who also has declined to attend ceremonies for fallen soldiers when their remains are returned to the United States.

“He has no empathy, no understanding of the human emotions of what people go through because he never did it himself,” the ex-Bush official, Richard Painter, told CNN on Wednesday night. “He stayed home during Vietnam with his sore foot or whatever it was.” The Huffington Post explained that Trump obtained a medical deferment, due to bone spurs in his feet, that kept him out of the Vietnam War. When asked in 2015 about the deferment, he said he could not remember which foot was injured. His presidential campaign told reporters that both of his feet had bone spurs in the 1960s.

Painter also declared that “what (Trump) has done to Gen. Kelly is atrocious.” He was referring to the White House chief of staff, whose son died in Afghanistan seven years ago. Trump mentioned Marines 2nd Lt. Robert Kelly this week, when he falsely accused Barack Obama and other former presidents of not contacting the families of slain soldiers. On Tuesday, Trump remarked on Fox News: “You could ask General Kelly. Did he get a call from Obama?”

Further evidence of Trump’s apparent lack of compassion for fallen soldiers came from Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson of Florida, who reported a conversation she had overheard. She said the president told the pregnant widow of one of the U.S. soldiers killed in Niger on Oct. 4, Army Sgt. La David Johnson, that her husband “must’ve known what he signed up for.” Trump refuted the account, but Johnson’s mother backed up her daughter-in-law’s story. “President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter, and also me and my husband,” Cowanda Jones-Jackson said in an interview with The Washington Post.

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Painter sued Trump earlier this year when the president refused to divest himself from his companies. The lawyer also has accused Trump of violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause by accepting money from other countries’ governments. Some of the income has been in the form of room rentals by foreign officials at Trump-owned hotels.

Painter told the Star-Tribune that he disagrees with the president about gun control, particularly in the wake of the recent shooting massacre in Las Vegas. “We should have been talking about gun control long ago,” he said. “We have a serious problem with guns, and I am amazed that Republicans are not taking this more seriously. I always thought we were the party of law and order. Part of law and order means having some control over who has guns and where. You don’t want criminals having guns.”

Source: The Huffington Post
Photo: IIP Photo Archive/Flickr

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