Trump says he loves the military, but he keeps insulting its members

His response was characteristic for several reasons.

First, it reflected his obsession with his predecessor and apparent belief that anyone who worked in a past administration — even as a nonpartisan military officer — is somehow suspect.

Second, it underlined how the President sees almost every issue through a prism of how it affects his image and prestige. Trump’s first instinct when criticized is not to move on or shrug it off, even in deference to a great soldier’s sacrifice, but to see the critique as a motivated by political animosity.

The episode is a reminder of how the President tramples protocols as a matter of course in his normal daily rituals. The idea that any other recent commander in chief would take a shot at a military hero like McRaven, who is respected across partisan lines in Washington, is unthinkable.