Trump just makes bad situations worse. Every time.
Emerging from his "cocoon of bitterness and resentment," as administration sources described it to the L.A. times, Trump spent the weekend insulting victims of California's deadly wildfires, then belittling the man who oversaw the operation that killed the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.
During his trip to California, Trump cruelly blamed the victims of the wildfires, saying the deadly fires were their fault — for not raking the forest floor. The comment was both blithely callous and scientifically illiterate. It was also a complete fabrication.
According to the Washington Post, Trump said the president of Finland "told him about raking the forest floors. 'He called it a forest nation,' Trump said, 'and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don't have any problem.'"
But when reached for comment, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said he never brought up raking with Trump.
Even before visiting the state to insult victims in person, Trump blamed California for poor forest management earlier this week. California firefighters called the remark "ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning to those who are suffering."
Not content to simply make a bad situation worse, Trump also used his weekend to insult the man who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
In an interview that aired on Fox News Sunday night, Trump belittled retired Adm. William H. McRaven and a huge swath of America's intelligence community for not finding Bin Laden "a lot sooner."
"Wouldn't it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that, wouldn't it have been nice?" Trump said. "You know, living — think of this — living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan, in what I guess they considered a nice mansion, I don't know, I've seen nicer. But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there."
McRaven, a 37-year military veteran, is a former Navy SEAL who oversaw both the killing of Bin Laden and the capture of Iraq's Saddam Hussein. Trump, on the other hand received multiple deferments, including one for bone spurs, and ultimately never served in the military.
McRaven has been critical of Trump, calling Trump's attacks on the press "the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime." McRaven alsp defended former CIA director John Brennan when Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance. "Add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency," McRaven said at the time.
Trump has a long history insulting war heroes. Earlier this month, Trump decided to skip a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington Cemetery because he arrived home late at night from his trip to France, where he skipped out on a ceremony honoring World War I heroes. During his 2016 campaign, Trump also insulted the Gold Star family of a fallen hero.
Maybe it's a relief that Trump spends so many weekends golfing. When he emerges, all he does is blame victims and insult American heroes. Sadly, that's become par for the course.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.