VFW: Trump should apologize for downplaying troops' injuries

 

A prominent veterans organization is calling on Donald Trump to apologize for a Wednesday press conference in which he downplayed injuries sustained by troops during a recent attack on an Iraqi military base where they were housed. 

In a statement posted Friday on the website, the VFW’s national commander said the organization “cannot stand idle” in response to Trump’s comments. 

“The VFW expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks,” the commander, William “Doc” Schmitz, said in the statement.

After Trump ordered the assassination of Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani in early January, Iranian officials authorized a Jan. 8 retaliatory missile attack against Ain al-Asad air base in Iraq, which is known to house U.S. troops. Eight U.S. soldiers suffered concussion-like symptoms during the attack and three others sought behavioral health treatment, according to the Pentagon

The national commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars is calling on President Donald Trump to apologize for minimizing injuries sustained to U.S. troops in Iran.

But in the immediate aftermath of the attack on the air base, Trump told the American people in prepared remarks that no U.S. troops were injured. When CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang pressed Trump on Wednesday to explain the discrepancy between his initial statements and the Pentagon’s report about troops who sustained injuries, Trump said he did not consider their injuries “serious.”

“I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things,” Trump said, adding, “But I would say, and I can report, it is not very serious.”

Concussions are defined as traumatic brain injuries by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. In most cases, they are non-fatal, but in many cases concussions can cause lasting conditions like memory loss, nausea, anxiety, and ― yes ― severe headaches. 

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Trump pulls US from Iran nuclear deal
US President Donald Trump signs a document reinstating sanctions against Iran after announcing the US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear deal, in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump announces his intention to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement during a statement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Donald Trump signs a document reinstating sanctions against Iran after announcing the US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear deal, in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump announces his intention to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement during a statement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts to a question from the media after announcing his intention to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement during a statement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump announces his intent to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a memorandum that re-instates sanctions on Iran after he announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Room at the White House May 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. After two and a half years of negotiations, Iran agreed in 2015 to end its nuclear program in exchange for Western countries, including the United States, lifting decades of economic sanctions. Since then international inspectors have not found any violations of the terms by Iran. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump announces his decision on the Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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“I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen,” Trump said on Wednesday, adding he believed other troops have been left in far worse condition resulting from previous attacks by Iran.

“I’ve seen people with no legs and no arms. ... I can consider them to be really bad injuries,” he said. 

But he continued to suggest the injuries sustained by the 11 U.S. troops were minor. 

“I do not consider that to be bad injuries,” Trump said.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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