Retired Lt Gen Mark Hertling said Mr Trump’s comments would not have “rung very well” with him had he still been serving.
Retired Lt Gen Mark Hertling said Mr Trump’s comments would not have “rung very well” with him had he still been serving. AP Photo - Alex Brandon

Trump's backhanded compliment insults deployed US troops

DONALD Trump's comments that US troops were only now winning as a result of his military strategy, were "somewhat insulting", a retired general has said.

During an address to US forces serving overseas, Mr Trump said US troops were defeating Isis because of changes he had made to the strategy of his predecessor, Barack Obama.

"Everybody's talking about the progress you've made in the last few months since I opened it up," he said.

"They weren't letting you win before; they were letting you break even. They weren't letting you win."

He also talked about the soaring stock market, record jobs figures and the recent Republican tax.

But retired Lt Gen Mark Hertling said Mr Trump's comments would not have "rung very well" with him had he still been serving.

"First of all, I'm thankful for the fact that he did address the soldiers," he said. "But the message I heard and some of the things he said would not have rung very well with me had I been a deployed soldier."

He added: "We have been winning You're talking to soldiers and military personnel around the world who have been in this fight for 17 years, and to suddenly be told they're winning now when they weren't winning before is somewhat insulting."

Mr Trump spoke from his Mar-a-Lago estate to troops deployed overseas via video teleconference. During the call, the President praised the military's recent performance and the state of the economy.

Mr Hertling said he believed troops did not want to be told about the economy or the stock market, but wanted to be thanked for their service.

"The comments about the economy and where the economy is growing - deployed soldiers don't want to hear about that, they want to hear, 'hey thanks'," he said.

Trump later visited a Coast Guard station, where he told service members the Coast Guard's brand has gone up thanks to its hurricane relief efforts in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.


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