An Iraq War veteran skewered Donald Trump Wednesday after the presumptive Republican nominee made a confusing statement about soldiers stealing millions in cash while serving abroad.
"The idea that Trump would call out the integrity of those who answered the call of service and deployed to a war zone is repellant," the veteran, Corbin Reiff, posted to Twitter Wednesday.
During a Tuesday night rally, Trump said the following:
Iraq, crooked as hell. How about bringing baskets of money — millions and millions of dollars — and handing it out? I want to know who were the soldiers that had that job, because I think they're living very well right now, whoever they may be.
Politico noted that Trump appeared to be referring to known examples of American soldiers taking portions of cash intended for reconstruction projects in Iraq, or otherwise engaging in theft or bribery.
The publication cited a 2015 report by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan group, which wrote "at least 115 enlisted personnel and military officers [were] convicted since 2005 of committing theft, bribery, and contract-rigging crimes valued at $52 million during their deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq."
Trump campaign communications director Hope Hicks said Trump was not referring to US soldiers in the comments.
"Mr. Trump was referring to Iraqi soldiers," she wrote Politico in an email.
Reiff, who now works as a music writer, didn't buy Hicks' answer.
"For this reason, and many more, he's proven that he's someone with neither the temperament, nor the character, to be Commander in Chief," he tweeted. "Don't believe him when he says he's for Veterans. It's lip service entirely."
Reiff said he was working a post that had him handle some of the cash that Trump appeared to be referencing. He said the procedures in place to prevent theft were "frustratingly thorough."
"I am living well right now - some student loan debt aside - but not because I pocketed the hard-earned taxpayer money that I was entrusted," he posted.
See Reiff's stinging response to Trump's comments:
Veteran took aim at Trump over shocking claim
Veteran took aim at Trump over shocking claim
Just a small warning, I’m about to go on a bit of a rant.
I rarely discuss politics on this platform, but yesterday, the Republican nominee for President said something that compels me to speak out.
I spent five years, from 2006-2011 as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army.
When I deployed to Iraq in 2009 I was made Non Commissioned Officer in Charge of Foreign Claims for the entirety of Western Baghdad.
That’s an area that covers roughly 5 million people. I was 21 years old and will admit, very much in over my head.
My job for a whole year was to assess damage to Iraqi citizen’s property, and person and compensate them monetarily.
So if a helicopter dropped a flare and burned a kid, or an MRAP ran into a generator or someone's goat while on patrol...
Or we killed someone in the line of fire, it was my job to make it right.
Affected citizens would make the drive from as far as Lebanon on a weekly basis to see if their claims had been adjudicated.
The job was tough, almost impossible, but it was the just thing to do and helped build a bridge of trust between us and the citizenry.
I basically spent a year of my life in an aluminum trailer, away from my friends and family enduring mortar attacks nearly every night.
There was always more to do, and the stack of files and faces never dwindled. I got half a day off every two weeks.
I had to look widows and orphans in the eye as tears ran down their cheeks telling me through an interpreter their heartbreaking stories.
Every mission out into the city carried with it tremendous risk, but we had a job to do, and forcibly put that out of our minds.
In the course of my job, I was entrusted with a lot of taxpayer money, all in American cash.
As a result, we instantly became a high value target for insurgents who wanted to relieve us of said cash at one of our weekly gatherings.
Yesterday, @realDonaldTrump, a man who never served in any capacity said this about me and my brethren that served in Iraq.
“How about bringing baskets of money — millions and millions of dollars — and handing it out?”
"I want to know who were the soldiers that had that job, because I think they’re living very well right now.” https://t.co/DFZU5VEKhN
I am living well right now - some student loan debt aside - but not because I pocketed the hard-earned taxpayer money that I was entrusted.
In my time overseas, the procedures that were put in place to prevent that from happening were frustratingly thorough.
The idea that Trump would call out the integrity of those who answered the call of service and deployed to a war zone is repellant.
For this reason, and many more, he’s proven that he’s someone with neither the temperament, nor the character, to be Commander in Chief.
Don’t believe him when he says he’s for Veterans. It's lip service entirely.