Donald Trump Doesn't Know What the GI Bill Is (or Anything Else)

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Eugene, Oregon, U.S., May 6, 2016.   REUTER
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Eugene, Oregon, U.S., May 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/File Photo

This morning, on CNN, Donald Trump showed just how little he knows about, or cares about, veterans' issues. (Note, this is a rush transcript):

CHRIS CUOMO: We tried to get your campaign and the other campaigns to hold forth or whether or not they supported the current GI bill. In congress, a sneaky vote in the house -- no roll call - is going to cut money from the GI bill to allow for other expenditures for vets. Vets were upset. "No, don't take money from us and reallocate it. Find the savings elsewhere." Do you support maintaining the GI bill the way it is and growing it instead of cutting it?

DONALD TRUMP: I don't want to hurt our vets. We treat illegal immigrants better than our vets. I'm going to help the vets. I'm going to only help them. -- unlike Hillary Clinton who thinks the vets are getting too much? They're not. I've traveled, seen so many vets I know so many vets now and have a lot of friends. I have developed great friendships among the vets. Our vets are --

CHRIS CUOMO: Is that a yes, "I do support the current GI bill?"

DONALD TRUMP: No. I want to bring jobs back to our country and make the country grow again. I just traveled. I won so many states in a row in massive landslides and part of the reason was trade. Not what you brought up at the beginning of the show, totally inappropriate. Part of the reason I won was because of trade and I talk trade and I'm the only one that can do anything about trade.

He then babbles on aimlessly about trade for a few more sentences.

Clearly, Donald Trump has no idea what the GI Bill is -- landmark legislation (which was recently updated) that still provides education and job training opportunities to our veterans, so they can better compete with others in their generation who chose getting a degree, or an early start to their career, over military service. It's part of the compact we make with those who serve, and a promise on which we cannot afford to renege.

Efforts in Congress to chip away at the GI Bill, to pay for other pieces of veterans' care, have been opposed by many veterans' groups, and both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. It's another piece, for another day, as to why chipping away at the GI Bill is a bad idea.

Today, what's relevant is that Donald Trump clearly thinks the GI Bill is some kind of job placement program that can be replaced once there are better trade deals.

Maybe he cares so little about learning about what the GI Bill is, because he cares so little about veterans. Most of the money he raised "for veterans," when he bailed on a Republican debate, still hasn't been given to veterans' groups.

Regardless, like on pretty much every issue, Trump talks long and loud, to hide the fact that he is utterly and totally clueless. Whether it is his disastrously stupid idea to try to squirm our way out of repaying debt, or thinking you can cut the GI Bill because you're renegotiating trade deals, the amount of things that Trump doesn't know, and doesn't understand, could fill up the crumbling and decrepit Trump Taj Mahal.


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