Real estate mogul Donald Trump spoke inaccurately about battlefield conditions Monday when he told an Iowa audience that soldiers traveling in armored Humvees are safe from improvised explosive devices.
"The best in the world, armor-plated, top, bottom, all over. If a bomb goes off, our wounded warriors, instead of losing their legs, their arms, worse, they’re okay. They go for a little ride upward, and they come down," Trump said at a rally in Cedar Rapids.
Hear Trump's comment in the video above.
If only the GOP presidential candidate's ill-informed idea of warfare reflected the reality described by veterans, there would have been fewer American casualties in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
Veterans and their supporters quickly ridiculed Trump for not knowing that roadside bombs can rip through armored Humvees and inflict grave injuries.
Others said it demonstrated that Trump isn't serious about the concerns of active and former members of the armed services.
"Donald Trump doesn’t seem to recall the times that armor-piercing IEDs destroyed vehicles and sent many of our troops on a 'little ride' to their deaths, Vets Vote Chairman and Iraq War veteran Jon Soltz said in a statement. "Donald Trump doesn’t know what we face, and he doesn’t care about what we face. He just likes to use us for political props to hide behind to avoid debates."
Trump made the comments while telling an anecdote about a friend's son who served two tours of duty and complained about enemy forces seizing superior American military equipment. Trump said that 2,300 brand-new armored plated Humvees landed in enemy control.
But actually, the Pentagon abandoned Humvees in 2007 in favor of mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, known as MRAPs, according to The Washington Post, which took apart Trump's comments. Though an up-armored Humvee might survive a bombing intact, passengers can still suffer brain injuries or blown eardrums, or be thrown from the vehicle.
The Post also reported that insurgents in Iraq adapted and found ways to successfully attack the Humvess despite heavy defense plates. MRAPs were specifically designed for exploding roadside bombs, but even the newer vehicles are imperfect, the Post reported.
Trump has tried ingratiating himself with veterans, an influential voting bloc. He skipped the Republican debate on Thursday to instead hold an event for veterans.
Note to our readers: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.
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