President Donald Trump and his supporters have been vehemently denying the allegations in a bombshell article by The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, who reported that according to his sources, Trump expressed disdain for Americans who serve in the military and insulting them as “suckers” and “losers.” But reporters for the Associated Press, the Washington Post and even Fox News have corroborated Goldberg’s reporting. And on Foreign Policy’s website, journalist Michael Hirsh reports that Trump, according to his sources, was disrespectful of the military long before he ran for president.
One of the sources interviewed for Hirsh’s article, which was published on September 8, was George M. White — who is now 74 and was Trump’s superior at the New York Military Academy (where Trump graduated in 1964). Discussing Goldberg’s reporting in The Atlantic, White told Hirsh, “No, those remarks absolutely didn’t surprise me. In my dealings with him, he was a heartless, obnoxious son of a bitch.”
According to Goldberg’s sources, Trump described the American World War I veterans buried at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in Northern France as “suckers.” And during a diplomatic visit to France, Trump commented, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.”
Hirsh stresses that Trump is “certainly not alone in questioning the wisdom of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam and Iraq” — and White, according to Hirsh, has no problem with Trump questioning whether or not the U.S. should have intervened militarily in those places. But it Trump’s disrespect for the military itself that White has a problem with.
Hirsh argues that although attending the New York Military Academy gave Trump a “love of superficial military grandeur, especially parades and medals,” he lacks a real respect for the military itself. And White stressed that attending a military school is a long way from actually enlisting in the military, telling Hirsh, “I went into the U.S. Army during Vietnam in 1968. I served a tour in Korea. When I got into basic training I realized very quickly that at the New York Military Academy, we were just play-acting. What we had been taught was a sort of surface military thing.”
Alan Lapidus, a former Trump family architect who enlisted in the military in 1957, told Hirsh, “Like most ex-military, I detest (Trump’s) love of having parades and having real military personnel salute him.”
Hirsh also interviewed Sandy McIntosh, who attended the New York Military Academy at the same time as Trump and recalled, “One of the things that struck me was I don’t recall him being a good student at all. I was two years younger than him, and he asked me to go over his essays for him and improve them. It was the only time I got to see the nature of his disability. I think his grades were mostly in the D-plus or C-minus range.”