Reflection on Sacrifice: Trump’s Hatred for McCain, Mattis, and Kelly Tells Us Who Trump Served: Putin

On this Memorial Day 2023, the nation should have a long memory of those who have faked their love, honor, and support for the members of our Armed Forces including for those who would or did give their last full measure of devotion. We owe our troops and our people the will to tell ourselves the truth about those who would preside.

Senator John McCain pegged Putin for what he is, a KGB hardliner and apparatchik. Donald Trump savaged McCain, his service, and ultimately, his daughter for standing by the late Senator. This while praising Putin. The beneficiary? Putin.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis did not flinch in flattening Wagner Group in Syria after being given discretion to defend U.S. troops. However when Mattis acted on that discretion and defended our troops from Russian aggression in Syria, Trump reversed his feigned respect for both Mattis and the troops, constructively ousting Mattis with “water cooler sniping” within weeks. This prompted Mattis to resign and signal why. Trump then betrayed Kurdish allies in Syria to an invasion and bombardment by Turkey’s Erdogan. The beneficiary was Putin, and increasingly by association, Xi Jinping, leveraging the lost influence Trump’s betrayal of Kurds in Syria would cause the United States. Two years later, Trump did it again, deliberately paving the way to a similar hell for America’s Afghan allies and friends, again, negotiating with their enemies and excluding them from the table.

Retired Marine General and Chief of Staff John Kelly endured Trump’s questioning of his son’s (Lt. Robert Kelly) sacrifice in Afghanistan while at Arlington and Trump’s frightening use of the Presidency to incite divisive, destructive conflict not only within his administration but in U.S. government and American society. Trump had dismissed Kelly and tried to destroy his reputation by saying he couldn’t handle the pressure of the Chief of Staff position, a falsehood.

What Kelly could not abide by was Trump’s patriotic bankruptcy regarding the United States, and how Trump made him fear for the nation’s defense, security, and freedom from autocracy.

Trump was a deep-seated threat to the nation’s defense, security, unity, and well being who revealed his hatred for combat veterans he himself appointed after they actually stood by the ideals he claimed to have appointed them for. Beneficiary: Putin.

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