The Daily Beast actually starts its story with this headline: Trump’s Defenders: He Doesn’t Hate the Troops, He Just ‘Sounds Like an Asshole’
In The Daily Beast’s interviews with 11 senior administration officials, Trump aides, Republican operatives, and former and current friends of the president, several of them mounted a curious defense of Trump. Yes, they admitted, the commander in chief at times makes callous, tone-deaf comments about American military personnel behind closed doors. But it’s because he hates the wars they’re forced to fight, not the service members themselves.
Seriously? That’s the best they can come up with?
“The president means no disrespect to our troops; it’s just that the way he speaks, he can sound like an asshole sometimes,” one of these sources, a current senior administration official, told The Daily Beast. “That’s how he is [when the cameras are off]… It’s his style.”
And when the cameras are on him, too. “I like people who weren't captured” was captured on camera.
And they made this interesting admission, even while denying the Paris story:
Some of these individuals close to the president did concede there was one part of Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg’s article that rang true to them: the anecdote about Trump joining John Kelly, his former White House chief of staff, on a visit to the grave of Kelly’s son Robert—who was killed in the war in Afghanistan—and coldly asking Kelly, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”
This gives more credence to the speculation that Kelly was a source for The Atlantic article.
As for the claim that Trump respects the troops, but he just doesn’t like them being sent off to war:
For all of Trump’s talk about putting an end to these “endless wars,” he has yet to actually end any of them, and he even escalated the war in Afghanistan earlier in his first term. He has also actively encouraged and used the powers of his office to excuse American war crimes, and also escalated air wars on various foreign countries, with disastrous consequences for civilians abroad.
Mind you, some of these individuals still work for Trump, and they are defending him on his orders. Yet the best defense they could come up with is that he’s an asshole.