Chicago Tribune: The Spin: Duckworth blasts Trump over reported insults of war dead

President Donald Trump is denying reports he made disparaging remarks about U.S. military personnel who have been captured or killed, including referring to the American war dead at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France in 2018 as “losers” and “suckers.”

But Illinois U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient who lost both legs in combat, said in a morning news conference — called by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign — she believes it’s true and is one reason voters should oust the Republican incumbent this fall.

Meanwhile, the November ballot is now pitting billionaire Gov. J.B. Pritzker vs. the even wealthier founder and CEO of the Citadel investment firm, Ken Griffin, Illinois’ richest person. Griffin kicked in $20 million to an effort to defeat the Pritzker-backed proposal on the ballot that would shift Illinois’ flat-rate income tax to a graduated-rate system. Pritzker, a Hyatt Hotel heir, has kicked in a little over $56.5 million.

And the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is warning that Illinois and a handful of other states seeing increasing COVID-19 numbers are at risk for a surge in cases over Labor Day weekend, Bloomberg is reporting.

Sen. Duckworth on president’s reported insults of war dead: ’(I’ll) take my wheelchair and my titanium legs over Donald Trump’s supposed bone spurs any day.’

President Donald Trump referred to the 1,800 Marines who died in the World War I battle of Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed, The Atlantic reported yesterday.

Trump has emphatically denied the Atlantic report, calling it “a disgraceful situation” by a “terrible magazine.” He also suggested that whoever they were talking to were fired White House staffers making up stories to retaliate against him.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates Democrat and military veteran, said this morning she’s “not shocked, but I am appalled” by reported comments Trump made about the military and war dead. The Atlantic was first to report the news, but The Associated Press and Washington Post are out with dispatches of their own about the comments. You can read about it here.

“You know, a couple of weeks ago I said at the Democratic National Convention that Donald Trump does not deserve to be the commander in chief for four more minutes, let alone, another four years,” Duckworth said in a news conference the Biden campaign hosted this morning.

“He has insulted war heroes. He’s attacked Gold Star families,” she said in a nod to Gold Star father Khizr Khan, who traded barbs with Trump in the 2016 election, made appearances during two Democratic National Conventions and also participated in the morning news conference.

Duckworth, who was among the finalists to be Biden’s running mate before he picked California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, continues to be a loyal surrogate. Her military background has raised questions about whether she might end up as a Cabinet member if Biden wins.

“I’m ready to replace Donald Trump with Joe Biden because we need a president who will actually show our soldiers and Marines and airmen and Coast Guardsmen and sailors the respect that they deserve, a president who understands the risks they face … who will respect the men and women of our military, not insult them.”

Known for her zingers where Trump’s concerned, she contrasted her own injuries while suggesting the president was a draft dodger who came up with a foot injury to avoid serving in the Vietnam War.

“(I’ll) take my wheelchair and my titanium legs over Donald Trump’s supposed bone spurs any day,” she said.

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