The founder of an organization that aims to support veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars spoke out against Donald Trump Jr. on Monday following comments the president’s son made in his recent book, Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us.
While appearing on CNN, Paul Rieckhoff, the founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said there was a certain “tone-deafness” in regard to some comments made by the president and people close to him. Riekhoff responded directly to a question posed about Trump Jr.’s new book. In it, Trump Jr. details how a trip to Arlington National Cemetery caused him to think about “sacrifices” his family made due to his father’s ascension to the White House.
“I mean, every week there’s something new like this. There’s a tone-deafness from the president and from his family around what it means to serve,” Rieckhoff said during the CNN appearance, The Hill reported.
“Don Jr. is of age. If he really wants to understand what sacrifice is all about, he can join the military,” Rieckhoff added.
In Triggered, the president’s 41-year-old son writes about a trip to Arlington National Cemetery with his father in early 2017, following his father’s election win and before he assumed office. Trump Jr. writes about how a performance of “Taps” by the U.S. Army band caused him to think about sacrifices his family had made to secure his father’s White House victory.
“In that moment, I also thought of all the attacks we’d already suffered as a family, and about all the sacrifices we’d have to make to help my father succeed,” Trump writes.
He went on to claim that the family had to scale back its business operations and international presence to avoid making it seem like the family was profiting from his father’s presidential status.
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Three years ago today. Some pictures from that night and the call that ended it all. What an amazing time, what incredible accomplishments since, despite unprecedented hatred from the establishment and the left. @realdonaldtrump still getting it done for all Americans… because he’s fighting for them. Look forward to keeping this going for another five years.
Rieckhoff noted a couple of Trump-related individuals who have in the past served in the U.S. military in some capacity, including former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus, President Trump’s first chief of staff.
Trump Jr. made headlines last week for clashing with hosts of The View during a heated appearance on Thursday’s show and for sharing a Brietbart News article that claimed to identify the still-anonymous Ukraine whistleblower. He’s been busy promoting the book since it was released last week.
Rieckhoff – a veteran of the war in Iraq – added that he believed there was more than one way to serve the country, but implied that the comments by the president’s son indicated a lack of “cultural competency” and understanding of the military community. He also called Trump Jr.’s comparison of dead soldiers in the cemetery to his family’s sacrifices “ridiculous.”
“And unfortunately, that’s the kind of tone that’s permeated the last three years of this administration time and time again,” Rieckhoff said. “They hit political guardrails that they shouldn’t hit.”