In an interview on CNN’s Dana Bash, out Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg eviscerated Donald Trump for allegedly denigrating a wounded veteran who performed at a Pentagon event.
A recent report in The Atlantic said that Trump reprimanded Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley for inviting wounded Army captain Luis Avila to sing God Bless America at the welcome ceremony for his then-new role. During one of his five combat tours, Avila lost a leg and subsequently endured brain damage, two strokes, and two heart attacks.
The “Pose” star threw down the gauntlet at a recent appearance in Florida.
“Why do you bring people like that here?” witnesses say Trump asked Milley. “No one wants to see that, the wounded.” He then reportedly told Milley never to invite Avila to a public appearance again.
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Bash asked Buttigieg about Trump’s disdainful attitude toward veterans.
“It’s just the latest in a pattern of outrageous attacks on the people who keep this country safe,” Buttigieg, a veteran himself, replied. “September puts me in a reflective mood because it’s actually tomorrow, nine years ago now, that I got back to South Bend after my one tour in Afghanistan. I served with people who did five, six, seven tours, some of them after being injured.”
“I in an airport ran into someone I served with who basically had her leg shot off,” he continued, “and with her new leg I asked her how she was doing and she said, ‘the Navy fixed me up just fine,’ and she went right on to her next assignment.”
“These are the kind of people who deserve respect and a hell of a lot more than that from every American, and definitely from every American president. And the idea that an American president, the person to whom servicemembers look to as a commander in chief and the person who sets the tone for this entire country, could think that way or act that way or talk that way about anyone in uniform and certainly about those who put their bodies on the line and sacrificed in ways that most Americans will never understand… and I guess wounded veterans make President Trump feel uncomfortable.”
Buttigieg emphasized that wounded veterans need to be lifted up “because their commitment could help unify the country and we need voices whether it’s ordinary people, servicemembers or political leaders who are interested in unifying, not dividing Americans.
In the same interview, Buttigieg slammed Republicans for the looming possibility of a government shutdown do their inability to make a deal, saying “House Republicans need to come to their senses and keep the government running.”