Asked by CNN’s Dana Bash whether it was acceptable for Trump in 2015
to question whether the late Arizona Sen. John McCain
, a Navy veteran who was held as a prisoner of war for more than five years during the Vietnam War, was a war hero and make other comments that denigrated American service members who were captured during war, Wilkie said: “Well, it’s politics.”
The Veterans Affairs secretary on Sunday added his voice to the chorus of administration officials denying Trump has been disrespectful toward the military following reports of Trump’s mocking of US troops killed in battle. The White House has rallied an aggressive pushback against the reports, including from the President
, as Democrats and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden rushed to condemn
Trump for his alleged behavior.
“It’s the heat of a campaign. I judge a man by his actions, and the actions have been beneficial for veterans all across this country in ways that we have not seen since the end of World War II. And I would also say the same for the United States military,” Wilkie told Bash on “State of the Union.” “I was the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. I watched this President sign letters of condolences to those who have fallen in Afghanistan and Iraq. I was on the frontlines then, so I’m judging the President by what he’s done as president.”
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