Last week, The Atlantic released a report claiming that President Trump had made disparaging remarks about U.S. soldiers, calling those who’ve died in combat “losers” and “suckers” and, for the umpteenth time, slagging on his old foe John McCain. While the Trump and the White House have denied the allegations (even ones that are easily proven to be true) one famous veteran thinks they’re real: Chesley Sullenberger, aka “Sully,” the retired Air Force fighter pilot best known as the man who saved every passenger aboard US Airways Flight 1549 after it was disabled by a bird strike, safely and heroically landing it into New York’s Hudson River.
Sullenberger — who was immortalized on the big screen in Clint Eastwood’s Sully, starring Tom Hanks — took to social media, torching the president in a Tweetstorm that took its time, calmly building to a furious conclusion.
1/9 I am a veteran. I volunteered for military service during wartime. So did my father. His generation saved the world from fascism. pic.twitter.com/0tWKdMYDKs
— Sully Sullenberger (@Captsully) September 4, 2020
“I am a veteran. I volunteered for military service during wartime. So did my father. His generation saved the world from fascism,” Sullenberger began. He continued:
In our travels, my wife Lorrie and I have always made it a point to visit military bases, hospitals and cemeteries, to meet and honor those who serve and have served our nation. I have long known that serving a cause greater than oneself is the highest calling, whether in the military or in civilian life. And I have always tried to be a voice of reason and to speak in a measured way. But this situation calls for a much more direct approach. It is time to call out egregious behavior for what it is.
For the first time in American history, a president has repeatedly shown utter and vulgar contempt and disrespect for those who have served and died serving our country. While I am not surprised, I am disgusted by the current occupant of the Oval Office. He has repeatedly and consistently shown himself to be completely unfit for and to have no respect for the office he holds. He took an oath of office that is similar to the one that each person takes who enters the U.S. Military. But he has completely failed to uphold his oath. Now we know why. He has admitted that he cannot comprehend the concept of service above self. He cannot understand selflessness because he is selfish. He cannot conceive of courage because he is a coward. He cannot feel duty because he is disloyal.
Sullenberger concluded with a clear message: “We owe it not only to those who have served and sacrificed for our nation, but to ourselves and to succeeding generations to vote him out.”
While Trump — whose former personal attorney Michael Cohen said he admitted to making up a fake injury, the infamous “bone spurs,” to get out of serving in the Vietnam War — has denied making derogatory statements about American soldiers, the comments mirror ones he’s made in the past. He’s been very, very public about his feelings for the late John McCain, bragging about calling him a “loser” and notoriously saying, about the fact that he was a POW during the war he allegedly dodged, that “I like people who weren’t captured.” Those comments didn’t cost him the 2016 election, but perhaps this time will be different?