On Monday, Donald Trump’s team reeled from the cumulative effect of his Khan family feud, which saw the real estate mogul boast of “sacrifices” while insulting the parents of a fallen Purple Heart recipient. Vietnam Veteran John McCain distanced himself from the mess while expressing disappointment, and the New York Times marked the occasion by reminding the world of Trump’s five draft deferments — four during college and one that may have been for “bone spurs in his heels.” The incident presented genuine questions of whether Trump would lose military supporters as a result, but what a difference a day can make.
Tuesday morning’s rally in Ashburn, Virginia saw Trump appear to clutch a Purple Heart, which he claimed had been given to him by a veteran. The audience responded with audible shock and some scattered applause. Trump mused about whether this was an authentic decoration, but he claimed the veteran acknowledged its realness because he had such confidence in his chosen candidate. Trump then declared, “Man, that’s like big stuff. I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.”
Yes, the Republican presidential nominee stood onstage and crowed about his dream of receiving a military honor reserved for those wounded or killed in action. This moment presented the obvious response on Twitter: “Who in the world wants to get a Purple Heart?”
Trump then invited Lt. Colonel Louis Dorfman onstage, and they posed together for the cameras while the crowd cheered and chanted, “USA, USA!” However, the at-home Twitter audience soon learned the truth. NBC News Foreign Correspondent Katy Tur spoke to Dorfman, who admitted to giving Trump a copy of his Purple Heart.
So … is anyone going to tell Trump the truth, and does it matter? After all, we’ve already seen his telling reaction.