Today, retired airline captain Chesley Sullenberger–an American hero who saved all 155 passengers when he landed his troubled, commercial airliner in New York’s Hudson River–came out for the first time and slammed President Donald Trump in a series of Twitter tweets for Trump’s reported, derogatory remarks about the U.S. military. Sullenberger’s remarks were directed toward Jeffrey Goldberg’s article in The Atlantic this week entitled “Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers.'” (See my post about it, “Trump Is a Phony Scumbag about the U.S. Military.”). It quotes several anonymous sources claiming Trump has a “disgusting” attitude about military personnel who lost their lives in combat.
Sullenberger, nicknamed Sully, first stated in these tweets, “I have always tried to be a voice of reason and to speak in a measured way.” But he said of The Atlantic article and other reports, “this situation calls for a much more direct approach. It is time to call out egregious behavior for what is it.”
Sullenberger further states, “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.”
Sully continued, “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 cannot understand selflessness because he is selfish. He cannot conceive of courage because he is a coward.”
This last sentence by Sully likely was prompted by Goldberg reporting that President Trump and his White House Chief-of-Staff, four-star Marine General John Kelly, visited Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day and stood together beside the gravesite of Kelly’s son, who was killed in combat in Afghanistan. Goldberg says Trump then said to Kelly, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” This just reveals Trump’s narcissistic, deranged mind that only thinks in terms of transactional dealmaking and thus not serving America at all.
It seems that Kelly is Goldberg’s likely source for this comment. Even if it is someone else who was accompanying them, if this report is correct, IMO General Kelly has an obligation to come forward and affirm this report. He may be withholding doing so because he considers it executive privilege. But four more years of Donald Trump as our president is a serious to our democracy, more so than any other president has been. All that could happen is that Trump could sue Kelly. But the comment was not made in the Oval Office or arguably in the conduct of Trump’s presidential duties.
Sully further revealed, “I am a veteran. I volunteered for military service during wartime. So did my father. His generation saved the world from fascism.” Sully’s father served in WWII, and Sully served in the Vietnam War.
Sully Sullenberger is a courageous American to come forth like this and tell it like it is. He did it to warn America that we must remove Donald Trump from office in the forthcoming election to protect our democracy that is enshrined in our Constitution.