Donald Trump is facing rebukes from military veterans again – this time for making a joke about how easy it is to get a Purple Heart after a veteran handed him one as a gift at a rally on Tuesday.
Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran who lost both of her legs when her helicopter was shot down in 2004, led the way, posting a photo of herself in a hospital bed wearing the medal on her gown.
“This is how one usually looks when you are awarded a Purple Heart. Nothing easy about it,” she wrote.
She was joined by other veterans who posted pictures with their Purple Hearts, medals awarded only to servicemen and women who are wounded or killed in uniform.
“.@realdonaldtrump, this is how one usually looks when you are awarded a Purple Heart. Nothing easy about it,” Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a double amputee veteran who has two prosthetic legs after being woundd in Iraq, posted on Twitter.
Dorfman told Trump: “That’s my Purple Heart. I have such confidence in you.”
“I always wanted to get the Purple Heart,” Trump told supporters at the rally. “This was much easier.”
Iraq war veteran Sean Barney, a Democrat from Delaware running for Congress, uploaded a pair of Twitter photos aimed at Trump, that show Barney in a hospital bed, and another of Barney holding his Purple Heart medal.
“I fought in Iraq, was injured & was awarded a #PurpleHeart,” Barney captioned the latter photo. “No one should ever want a #PurpleHeart.”
Trump has yet to publicly respond to the backlash.
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New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said during a Wednesday appearance on MSNBC that he was “appalled” by Trump’s comments.
“The Purple Heart, along with the medals for bravery, the highest award you could give … The idea to treat it so lightly? [I’m] amazed. Absolutely amazed and appalled,” Bratton said.
The new controversy comes as Trump finds himself under scrutiny for comments he made about Ghazala and Khizr Khan, the parents of a fallen Muslim U.S. Army soldier.
During a Tuesday interview with CNN, Khizr Kahn said the presidential hopeful should not have accepted the Purple Heart from the veteran.
“You did not serve. You know what you should have done?,” Khizr said, addressing Trump. “You should have pinned that back to that veteran’s chest and should have hugged him and thanked him.”