President Donald Trump says US soldiers are "in love" with him, but the US military leaders "probably aren't because they want to do nothing but fight wars."
President Donald Trump has said that he's getting the US out of "endless wars", but the top military leadership, beholden to arms manufacturers, isn't happy with him.
Speaking in front of the White House at a US Labor Day news conference on Monday, Trump said, "I'm not saying the military's in love with me. The soldiers are."
"The top people in the Pentagon probably aren't because they want to do nothing but fight wars so all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy."
"But we're getting out of the endless wars. You know how we're doing," Trump said, days after allegations that he had mocked fallen soldiers.
Trump again dismissed a report in The Atlantic which claimed the president called fallen US soldiers as "suckers" and "losers".
"The story is a hoax," Trump said. "Who would say a thing like that? Only an animal would say a thing like that."
Trump's fresh remarks came after nearly 700 US veterans signed a letter in support of his administration and condemning the "baseless" attacks by "anonymous sources," The Sun reported.
The letter, dated September 4 and obtained by Breitbard, said "anyone who knows President Trump has seen his love and reverence for our military and veterans."
"That is why we, veterans from every generation, are writing today to reaffirm our support for President Trump."
"I'm not saying the military’s in love with me,the soldiers are.The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t, because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.— Barbara Starr (@barbarastarrcnn) September 7, 2020
Trump also hailed the US labour market's recovery from the pandemic-fuelled recession and suggested his Democratic rival Joe Biden would undo that progress.
"Biden and his very liberal running mate, the most liberal person in Congress by the way – is not a competent person, in my opinion, would destroy this country and would destroy this economy – should immediately apologise for the reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric that they are talking right now," adding: "It undermines science."
The president called Biden "stupid."
Under President Trump's leadership, we are producing a Coronavirus vaccine in record time. pic.twitter.com/9GelgghzF0— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 7, 2020
Trump said he was in the midst of the fastest economic recovery in US history and pointed out that the United States was experiencing the smallest economic contraction among western countries.
Trump has sought to paint himself as best-placed to revive the economy, despite criticism that his initial dismissal of the virus threat led to both a health crisis as well as a recession.
The US economy has been steadily rebounding from its epic collapse in the spring as many businesses have reopened and rehired some laid-off employees.
Yet the recovery is far from complete. Only about half the 22 million jobs that vanished in the pandemic have been recovered.