American Legion just delivered a major rebuke to Trump: Don't 'rip off service members'


Veterans called on Donald Trump to veto GOP legislation that protects big banks — the latest attack from the right on service members.

The Trump administration and its Republican allies in Congress have engaged in an almost non-stop series of assaults and attacks on the military and veterans over the last year. The latest such offense comes in the form of legislation on banking, and the largest veterans group in America has had enough.

The American Legion is making a rare public protest on legislation, asking Trump to veto a bill that would allow banks and other financial companies to stop customers from uniting to sue them.

The legislation passed the Senate 51-50, with Mike Pence flying in to cast the tiebreaking vote, after the House, under Speaker Paul Ryan, passed the bill.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren described the legislation as "a giant wet kiss to Wall Street" in a speech on the floor of the Senate.

"Bank lobbyists are crawling all over this place begging Congress to vote and make it easier for them to cheat their customers," she added.

American Legion National Commander Denise H. Rohan blasted the legislation for targeting veterans.

"We will not be silent while banks and payday loan shops rip off servicemembers and veterans," she said in a release. "Our membership has stated unequivocally that we are opposed to situations where our military and veterans’ financial protections are chipped away to increase the profits of the big banks."

Republicans stripping the ability of service members to defend themselves against predatory financial institutions is right in line with Trump's drive to undo President Barack Obama's legacy. The rule in question is part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency Obama created to protect consumers' rights, and a target of Republican ire for years.

And this move also follows in the footsteps of Trump and the GOP's military failures and smears.

Evidence continues to emerge that, despite warnings, Trump ordered the four soldiers who were murdered in Niger into a situation where they had inadequate support. He then went on to ignore their sacrifice for nearly two weeks and attacked the family of one of the fallen when he finally did speak up about it.

Veterans called out his hypocrisy on respecting the flag when he joked around as the solemn "Retreat" ceremony occurred while he was at a military base.

His reckless tweeting about a nuclear war with North Korea alarmed veterans groups who sent up red flags on his dangerous behavior.

Trump pushed to ban transgender Americans from serving openly in the military, while also denigrating the service of those currently enlisted in the armed services.

The Republicans in Congress led an effort to privatize veterans' health services, even as the Legion and other groups begged them not to.

These are not mistakes or isolated incidents. They are connected offenses from Trump and the Republican Party against active and retired members of the military service.

American troops and veterans are under assault from this presidency. And they will not be silent about it.