Retired General Says Trump’s Treatment Of Military Is ‘Disturbing’
Retired Army General Stanley McChrystal believes Donald Trump’s treatment of the U.S. military is “disturbing” and that America’s leaders need to step up and formulate a better relationship with the U.S. Armed Services
Speaking with ABC News’ Political Director Rick Klein and Chief White House and Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl, McChrystal didn’t hold back his criticism of the President as the White House prepares for the next general election in 2020.
McChrystal appeared on the Powerhouse Politics podcast where he spoke in depth about Trump’s recent attacks against retired Adm. Bill McRaven, the man who led the commando team that killed Osama bin Laden. Trump during a recent interview said it was have been “nice” if bin Laden was killed earlier. The comment rubbed some leaders the wrong way for suggesting the U.S. military didn’t do enough to capture bin Laden in a timely manner.
Karl: “What are we to make of a leader that speaks the way he does about very highly-regarded military leaders in this country?” Karl asked in regards to the McRaven comment issued by Trump.
McChrystal: “His discussions on Bill McRaven, as well as his previous discussions on John McCain and others have been something that’s deeply disturbing to a lot of thoughtful people. The fact that he would take on people in this vitriolic manner, I think is pretty upsetting to people.”
“And the fact that he would be dismissive of the kinds of service that people like John McCain and others have given is also disturbing … I don’t think it builds up the kind of trust that military people depend upon,” the retired general added.
McChrystal’s comments arrive at a time when Trump has claimed to do more for the military through an increase in defense funding than his predecessors, a statement the retired general disagrees with for various reasons.
McChrystal: “That’s not the best metric of whether you support the military. The size of the defense budget is not a measure of patriotism or connection with those in service. I don’t think that President Trump has developed as deep — a real connection of trust — with the military as perhaps he thinks he has.”
McChrystal: “Obviously the military do as ordered, but I think we have taken this particular situation and we have used images and mental images — to convince a lot of the American people that we have an invasion of our southern border. I think we have inflamed this in a way that is not helpful. And so I think that is a manipulation that I’m not comfortable with.”
McChrystal further notes during his interview that it’s dangerous to give President Trump too much responsibility.
McChrystal: “There is no leadership without followers. We need to look in the mirror and decide ‘OK, what leaders do we want? What leaders are we willing to follow?’ and when we ask ourselves that question, it can bring up some pretty disturbing questions for us.”
On a positive note, when asked about the direction of America, McChrystal says he believes leaders can still come together and change the rhetoric currently facing America.
You can listen to the full podcast below:
Be sure to download the full episodes of the Powerhouse Politics Podcast every Wednesday on ABC Radio and iTunes.