Trump Makes Bizarre Accusation Against Soldiers

June 15th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump brought up a strange topic on the U.S. Army's birthday. At a rally in Greensboro, N.C., he accused soldiers of stealing money from Iraq and getting away with it.

Here's what Trump said:

"Remember this. When we got out, we should have taken the oil. I'll never forget some of the pundits, most of them don't have the brains they were born with, they said 'they're talking about a sovereign country' Iraq, crooked as hell. How about bringing baskets of money? Millions and millions of dollars and handing it out? I want to know, who are the soldiers that had that job because I think they're living very well right now, whoever they may be." - Donald Trump (6/14/2016)

Trump seemed to suggest that U.S. soldiers help themselves to money in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Trump's campaign later said that he was referring to Iraqi soldiers and not U.S. troops, according to CNN. However, it's not the first time he's implied U.S. soldiers could have taken money in the Middle East. At a rally in New Hampshire last year, Trump made comments about Americans carrying large sums of money through Afghanistan, Politico reports.

“They didn’t really want to fight for Iraq because Iraq is a corrupt government, you know. Remember when they were handing 50 million dollars of cash? Cash! They were going through Afghanistan paying off, I want to know who were the soldiers that are carrying cash of 50 million dollars? Cash! How stupid are we? I wouldn’t be surprised those soldiers, I wouldn’t be surprised if the cash didn’t get there, I have to be honest.” - Donald Trump (9/30/2015)

Not only is the topic strange for a presidential candidate to bring up, especially on the Army's anniversary, this accusation touches on a real crime that happened in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The Center for Public Integrity documented $50 million worth of theft convictions from members of the U.S. military in those two countries.

Trump has a strange history with the military. The presumptive nominee gave $1 million of his own money to a veterans organization last month. However, he also promised to do that in January during a fundraiser he organized, but he waited until May after he received pressure from the media, according to The Washington Post.

Trump also infamously said that fellow Republican and Vietnam prisoner of war Sen. John McCain from Arizona was "not a war hero" because he was captured.

"He's not a war hero," said Trump, according to Politico. "He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."

John McCain

McCain, a former Navy pilot, was shot down in 1967 in Vietnam and he spent five years in a war camp where he was tortured.

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