Critics were flabbergasted Monday when President Donald Trump slammed his own Pentagon leadership as warmongers.
Speaking at a White House press conference, Trump claimed that U.S. soldiers are “in love with me,” but top Pentagon officials “probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”
The unprecedented attack appeared to be a twisted response to The Atlantic’s explosive report last week that Trump has called members of the military, including fallen war heroes, “suckers” and “losers.” The president’s sudden slam may have been an attempt to suggest that disgruntled officials were behind that story.
People on Twitter pointed out that many Pentagon higher-ups were named to their jobs by Trump and that the president has boosted the defense budget three years running, reaching a record $738 billion for fiscal year 2020. The president is also the commander in chief, which makes the military his responsibility.
It was Trump who picked Mark Esper — former chief lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon ― to be the current secretary of defense.