Trump Lied About Paying Respect To Fallen Soldiers At Dover Air Force Base

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead / Public Domain


President Trump said he has paid his respects to "many, many" returning soldiers killed in the line of duty.

President Donald Trump claimed last month that he “has paid his respects to ‘many, many’ returning soldiers killed in the line of duty,” but according to HuffPost, this is untrue.

In fact, Trump “has traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware exactly four times ― fewer than half as many times as his vice president ― and avoided going at all for nearly two years after getting berated for his incompetence by the father of a slain Navy SEAL, according to a former White House aide who spoke on condition of anonymity.”

Bill Owens, the father of William “Ryan” Owens, refused to shake Trump’s hand at that Feb. 1, 2017, encounter, the aide said, and then told Trump that he was responsible for his son’s death for approving the disastrous raid in Yemen without bothering to understand the risks.

“He refused to go back for two years, he was so rattled,” the aide said, adding that the main reason Trump had approved the raid just five days after taking office was that predecessor Barack Obama had refused to do so.

  • HuffPost’s review of Air Force records found that “ there have been 96 ‘dignified transfers,’ as the military refers to them, at Dover since the start of Trump’s presidency, which saw the return of 127 Americans killed overseas.” Trump attended four, which together brought home nine soldiers’ bodies, per the report.
  • However, “during an Aug. 18 news conference claimed he had been to enough ‘dignified transfer’ ceremonies in his three years in office to be present for the return of ‘many’ soldiers,” the outlet reported.
  • Trump said at the time: “I greet men and women coming home, and coming home after they’ve been hit. I’ve also greeted many, many at Dover — greeted many bodies coming back in.”
  • Ivanka Trump also chimed in on the issue, saying during the Republican National Convention: “I’ve stood by my father’s side at Dover Air Force Base as he’s received our fallen heroes, and each time it has steeled his resolve to finally stop ― finally stop, the endless foreign wars.”
  • HuffPost noted that she attended with her father just two times.

White House officials did not attempt to explain Trump and his daughter’s apparent exaggerations about the issue and instead defended, on condition of anonymity, his handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “There is progress in Afghan peace talks. The U.S. will soon have the fewest troops in Afghanistan in nearly a decade,” a top aide said.

  • Jon Soltz, chairman of the progressive political group VoteVets and an Iraq War veteran, told HuffPost: “There simply is no bottom when it comes to what he’ll lie about. I wish there was more outrage about Trump lying about the dignified transfer of the fallen for political reasons, because as a veteran it really disgusts me.”

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