For Trump, trouble began on several of these fronts before he was even in office. He dismissed the service and sacrifice of Sen. John McCain and, by implication, all those who had suffered as prisoners of war. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said while campaigning in Iowa. “I like people who weren’t captured.” He engaged in a back-and-forth with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Gold Star parents whose son, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, died in combat. After Khizr Khan pointed out in an emotional speech at the Democratic National Convention that Trump had “sacrificed nothing, and no one,” Trump suggested that “Hillary’s script writers” were responsible for the speech and said that Khan had “viciously attacked” him. And there were the references to what “his” generals would do and be. “I see my generals, generals that are going to keep us so safe,” he said on Inauguration Day.
Didn’t he understand that good leaders are big-hearted, that they don’t bully and quarrel with those they outrank? And doesn’t he respect that generals are loyal to the Constitution and chain of command — you can’t “own” them?
In the first military operation of his tenure, which Trump personally authorized, Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens was killed. Trump seemed to slough off the blame onto his predecessor, and his own secretary of defense, retired Gen. Jim Mattis.