Thursday's HOT MIC
It's a military coup...or something.
The Pentagon’s official Twitter account on Thursday retweeted then quickly deleted a post that included a call for President Trump to resign.
The Defense Department account, which has more than 5.2 million followers, retweeted a post that called for Trump to resign from the presidency, for Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore to end his campaign and for Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to resign from Congress.
“GOP: Stop making sexual assault a partisan issue. It’s a crime as is your hypocrisy,” the post read, referring to the new allegation against Franken, as well as sexual misconduct allegations against Moore and Trump.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said in a statement that an authorized operator of the Defense Department's official Twitter site “erroneously retweeted content that would not be endorsed by the Department of Defense. The operator caught this error and immediately deleted it.”
The tweet may not be endorsed by DoD but what about the sentiment? It's no secret that Trump's disparagement of John McCain's service, his insults directed at a Gold Star family, and his recent awkward call with the widow of a soldier killed in Niger has shocked and angered many in the military, especially officers. A near majority of enlisted personnel support the president while only 30% of the officers hold a favorable opinion of Trump.
One officer told the Military Times:
One retired Air Force colonel called the Trump rank divide “shocking,” telling Military Times, “I never thought that you would have a disparity in the numbers like that.” He went on:
That colonel suspects that Trump’s unpredictability is both the source of enlisted troops’ attraction to him and officers’ reservations. “When you have a hierarchy like we have within the military, part of it is that there is respect for the chain of command,” he told Military Times. “What Trump may offer is, it doesn’t matter. He’s just going to say whatever he wants to say, regardless of what the expected norms are for that position.”
Those norms include not criticizing the service of someone who endured 5 years of torture at the hands of the enemy, making partisan comments about the family of a soldier who gave his life for his country, and having the common decency to remember the name of a fallen soldier when talking to his family.
I would suspect that there is a contempt for Trump among the Pentagon brass that permeated down to the poor schmuck who retweeted a call for Trump to resign. A mistake? Sure. But the sentiment had to come from somewhere. That Trump is unpopular with some in the military shouldn't surprise us given his bellicose rhetoric directed at any number of states. Trump may talk big and brag about the military power of the US, but it will be the soldiers and officers who will have to make good on his braggadocio if it ever came to war.