Did President Trump Knock Down the Military in the First Debate?

After the September 29 Presidential Debate, I noticed people claiming that President Trump had spoken ill of the military that night. I didn’t remember any such behavior (though I did see plenty of other upsetting behaviors). It made me wonder if the claims were true, so I decided to study the transcript.

I found the entire transcript online, and I have pasted every word President Trump said about the military and the vets below. First, though, I would like to sum up what the transcript says.

What Did President Trump Say About the Military in the First Presidential Debate?

Note that these statements do not represent my opinions, nor have I fact checked these statements yet. This is simply a summation of what the President said in the debate:

  1. The Obama/Biden administration did not provide proper healthcare for the military, and 308,000 military people died on their watch.
  2. The military was “broken” and in debt when Obama/Biden left office, and Trump had to fix it.
  3. Two hundred and fifty military leaders and generals are supporting the Trump campaign.
  4. The 1619 Project/”Critical Race Theory” is racist and was being taught in our schools and to our military.
  5. Trump has re-built the military and Space Force.
  6. Trump fixed the VA, which was a mess under the Obama/Biden administration.
  7. People were dying because of the Obama/Biden administration.
  8. The Trump administration has fixed the VA to take care of our vets.
  9. The Trump campaign has a 91% approval rating from the vets.
  10. Hunter (Biden) got thrown out of the military for cocaine use.
  11. Biden spoke ill of the military and it is on tape.
  12. The military is all set up to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine when it is ready.
  13. Military ballots with “Trump” on them were found in a garbage can recently.

How Did He Knock Down the Military?

Perhaps saying that the military was “broken” under the Obama/Biden administration was knocking down the military? I think he was attempting to say that Obama/Biden did not take care of the military as they should have. (Again, I have not fact checked this, I am only stating what he said). I don’t personally think he was speaking ill of the military in this statement.

None of the press are talking about President Trump’s claims that he has a 91% approval rating among veterans. If this were a false claim and could be proven false, the media would be all over it. This means it is either true or cannot be proven untrue.

Overall, I don’t personally see any statements where he knocked down the military. If you disagree, please leave a comment and let me know. If you would like to read all of his exact words about the military that he spoke during the debate, you may do so below.

The Transcript (Everything President Said About the Military at the September 29, 2020 Debate)


Joe, you’ve had 308,000 military people dying because you couldn’t provide them proper healthcare in the military. So don’t tell me about this.


Including fixing the broken military that you gave me, including taking care of your debts.


“…we just got the support of 250 military leaders and generals, total support.”


(regarding critical race theory and the 1619 Project)

“I ended it because it’s racist. I ended it because a lot of people were complaining that they were asked to do things that were absolutely insane. That it a radical revolution that was taking place in our military, in our schools, all over the place.”


“A rebuilding of the military, including Space Force and all of the other things. A fixing of the VA which was a mess under him, 308,000 people died because they didn’t have proper health care. It was a mess. And we now got a 91% approval rating at the VA, our vets. We take care of our vets. But we’ve rebuilt our military.”


“I don’t know Beau. I know Hunter. Hunter got thrown out of the military. He was thrown out dishonorably discharged.”

“For cocaine use.”


“He [Biden] made a statement about the military. He said I said something about the military. He and his friends made it up, and then they went with it. I never said it.”


“He called the military stupid bastards.”

“He said it on tape.”


(regarding the vaccine)

“Well, we’re going to deliver it right away. We have the military all set up. Logistically, they’re all set up. We have our military that delivers soldiers and they can do 200,000 a day. They’re going to be delivering-”


“Hey, they found ballots in a wastepaper basket three days ago, and they all had the name military ballots. There were military. They all had the name Trump on them.”

Do You See Any Examples of President Trump Knocking Down the Military?

If you see any examples that I am missing, please share. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Did President Trump Call Veterans “Suckers” and “Losers”?

I’m sure you have seen the Atlantic article, in which three anonymous sources supposedly claimed that President Trump called military veterans “suckers” and “losers.” Sadly, this article is one of the many current examples of disgraceful reporting. The entire article is based on quotes from people who won’t even share their names. It’s really hard to believe, and I’m painfully surprised by how many people fell for it and believe it to be true.

Do you want to know the facts? Here we go…

  1. Jordan Karem*
  2. Dan Scavino*
  3. Stephen Miller*
  4. Mike Pompeo
  5. John Bolton*
  6. J. Hogan Gidley*
  7. Lt. General Keith Kellogg
  8. Sarah Huckabee Sanders*
  9. Mark Meadows
  10. Judd Deere
  11. Rob Crilly
  12. Alyssa Farah
  13. Derek Lyons
  14. Dan Walsh
  15. Zach Fuentes*

These are the people, eight of whom who were present at the reported times/places, who deny that President Trump ever called veterans “losers” or “suckers.” Fifteen and counting…The Atlantic produced four “unnamed” witnesses, but all of these people have come forward and said it’s a lie. Who do trust? A newspaper that is owned by a Biden mega-donor?

Also, from John Bolton’s anti-Trump book about the exact occasion mentioned in the Atlantic article. Notice that Trump *couldn’t* see the cemetery due to weather, as he stated–not because he thought the veterans were losers:

“Marine One’s crew was saying that bad visibility could make it imprudent to chopper to the cemetery. The ceiling was not too low for Marines to fly in combat, but flying POTUS was obviously something very different. If a motorcade was necessary, it could take between ninety and a hundred and twenty minutes each way, along roads that were not exactly freeways, posing an unacceptable risk that we could not get the President out of France quickly enough in case of an emergency. It was a straightforward decision to cancel the visit but very hard for a Marine like Kelly to recommend, having originally been the one to suggest Belleau Wood… Trump agreed, and it was decided that others would drive to the cemetery instead.”

So, What’s the Verdict?

I wasn’t there that day, so I cannot vouch for President Trump–but fifteen people did. I’d say fifteen against three means that his team wins. While I do not always agree with President Trump’s tact (or lack of it), I don’t think he called veterans “suckers” or “losers.” The Atlantic should be printing a retraction. Have you seen one? Let me know if you do.