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President Donald Trump listens to a question during a press conference at the White House on Monday, Sept. 7, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump said Monday that Defense Department leaders want to continue waging wars to keep defense contractors « happy. »
Trump continues to fight accusations of making offensive remarks about the fallen US military, such as calling the soldiers killed in World War I who are buried in an American cemetery in France « losers » and « fools » in 2018. The Atlantic was the first to report the allegations, which are supported by anonymous sources.
At a press conference at the White House on Monday, Trump repeated his claim that the report was a « sham » and declared: « I’m not saying the military is in love with me. The soldiers are. »
However, he added, “the people at the top in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they don’t want to do anything other than fight wars, so that all those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and do everything else, stay happy. ”.
Trump’s relationship with the military has been strained since he threatened weeks ago to use the Insurrection Act to use troops for police work during protests stemming from the death of George Floyd. Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has also expressed regret for accompanying Trump to Lafayette Square for what turned out to be a photo shoot during the protests.
Trump-appointed Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was Washington’s top lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon Co. before becoming Secretary of the Army in 2017.