One of the more amusing if pitiful aspects of President Trump’s rampant narcissism is his insistence on inventing, demanding, or exaggerating awards and accolades that he has received. Some of his more ridiculous incidents involve forging a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, hanging a fake TIME magazine cover with himself on it in his golf clubs, and claiming that he was the “Michigan Man of the Year” (which does not exist).
He even has admitted to making up awards for himself in remarks made in 2011. “And then I announce ‘I’ve just received an award,’ and there’s nothing deceptive about it because I actually did, but I gave it to myself,” bragged Trump to an Australian audience.
While it’s fairly harmless if obnoxious and sad for him to make up awards to give to himself, he crosses a line when he pretends they were for military service.
This morning, Trump claimed that he received a “big award from the Marines” while welcoming his new Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman.
The problem is that according to research by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter David Farenthold, it was not from the actual Marines, but from the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, a charitable organization run by Trump ally Jim Kallstrom that Trump’s “charity foundation” gave $230,000 worth of other people’s money too.
According to @Fahrenthold reporting in 2016, Trump had previously given the foundation that gave him the award $230,000 from his own foundation, which was largely funded by others' money. The award-giving foundation was chaired by Jim Kallstrom, a Trump ally in the election.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 30, 2019
So not only was it not actually from “the Marines,” it was an award that he essentially bought using money he laundered through the Trump Foundation.
It’s despicable to see President Trump constantly trying to steal valor from the troops despite the fact that he dodged the draft five times with an almost certainly phony bone spur story. It’s obvious that the coward longs for the respect and validation that accompanies military service but doesn’t want to actually have to earn it himself.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.