In an effort to dispute the stories about disparaging remarks allegedly made by Donald Trump about fallen military service members, radio personality Mark Simone shared a years-old photo of Donald Trump touching the face of a “severely wounded veteran.”
The image has been shared often on social media, usually with a message referring to the man as a wounded veteran and sometimes inferring that he lost his arms in battle.
Radio personality Mark Simone also shared this image in May 2017 with the caption: “Here’s a powerful picture that no news outlet will publish. It took place at a Trump rally when the President met a severely wounded veteran. This soldier lost both of his arms. The feeling of a handshake is lost to him. President Trump realized this, and touched his face so he could feel the human connection.”
This is a genuine photograph of Trump briefly touching the cheek of a supporter with two prosthetic arms. However, the accompanying backstory about the supporter being a veteran is inaccurate.
While Trump did touch Stevenson’s face, Stevenson is not a wounded veteran.
According to Online Chester, Stevenson was born without arms. His right limb stops just above his elbow and on his left side he has “only a nub below his shoulder.” A GoFundMe set up in 2014 to raise money for two bionic arms also stated that he “was born without arms.”
This post is not an attack on Mr. Stevenson, But Simone tweeting the photo and claim again, years after being called out by Snopes, is intellectually disingenuous in an attempt to help Trump in the middle of a political firestorm.
This gentleman is not a wounded veteran. He was born without arms, as Snopes has explained https://t.co/JQm1wQjRLC.
The Trump campaign also wrongly depicted him as a veteran in a 2016 ad…using this photo to replace an image that showed Russian veterans instead of Americans. pic.twitter.com/iYf8pmwZrL
Ok, twitter, do your thing.
Mr. Edward K Pearson, a veteran, is being buried tomorrow in Florida. He has no family, according to his obituary which was only 2 lines.
Everyone is welcome to attend.
Burial: October 1, at 12:30pm at Sarasota National Cemetery 9810 State Road 72 pic.twitter.com/gol1eNkJ7z
The pavilion at Sarasota National Cemetery was designed to hold 3,200 people for funerals that would be typical for well-known individuals.
U.S. Army veteran Edward Pearson was not a well-known person, but the 80-year-old’s funeral was standing room only on Tuesday as at least 4,000 people packed into the pavilion. The line of cars kept streaming into the cemetery and an hour into the service, hundreds more were still trying to get in to send the veteran off with honor.
“I started getting calls from all over the country and some from as far as Germany around 8 a.m. (Monday),” said cemetery volunteer Tina Beeler. “I haven’t seen this many people since this place was dedicated. The response has been phenomenal.”
There were veterans, retired veterans, active duty personnel in uniform, family of veterans, friends of veterans, students with teachers. All just wanted to pay their respect to a man they had never met.
According to his military discharge papers, Pearson served in the U.S. Army from 1962-1964 and after being honorably discharged went on to become an engineer. Click the video below to watch.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg is standing up for NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s right to kneel during the national anthem.
“The way I feel about it is the flag that was on my shoulder when I served represented, among other things, our right to free speech,” said Mayor Pete to TMZ while in New York City. “You don’t have to like it, but one of the reasons we serve was to defend that right, the right of peaceful protest and the idea that we can protest what is wrong with our country.”
“If the president had served, maybe he’d feel a little more strongly about some of those freedoms,” Pete added. “And, I get that there’s a lot of strong opinions about this, but that’s part of why we served.”
At a ceremony on today commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a direct slap at Donald Trump’s “America first” approach to international affairs.
“Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” said Macron. “By saying, ‘Our interests first, who cares about the others,’ we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what gives it grace and what is essential: its moral values.”
Trump, along with 80 other world leaders, was sitting just feet away from Macron at the time.
The Trumpster famously declared himself a “nationalist” recently as he campaigned for the midterm elections.
The video below shows the world’s leaders gathering for the ceremony, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Trump beamed at seeing, as well as part of Macron’s speech.
Hey @realDonaldTrump here’s a picture of President Obama in the rain supporting his American troops on Memorial Day. Sad to know you’re too much of a gerber baby to go outside to pay homage to our American hero’s. pic.twitter.com/309elqRiXw
You commemorate wars, not celebrate them. Also, you don’t pull a no-show because of rain. What a joke of leadership and respect. Thank God @BarackObama wasn’t afraid of melting in the rain. pic.twitter.com/mJlvoTEoC0
Campaigning in Nevada today, GOP White House hopeful Donald Trump announced he’s going to sue whoever put together a “nasty” campaign ad showing military veterans criticizing his statements about Purple Hearts, sacrifice and more.
“I saw today, I left the room and I saw a commercial where it was really a nasty commercial, totally made up about me with vets. There is nobody that loves the vets more or respects the vets more.
“They’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars on false commercials and it’s a disgrace. So what we’ll do — I guess we’ll sue them. Let’s sue them. Right? Let’s sue them.”
Trump never names the ad or the group running the ad that got his back up.
But he’s gonna sue them. Believe me. (sarcasm intended)
“Liberal Redneck” Trae Crowder talks on the inspiration for the current “22 for 22” pushup challenge: the sad state of affairs for our military vets that, on average, 22 veterans commit suicide each day because they lack the resources to deal with PTSD and more after serving our country.
“First, I’d like someone to explain how it takes an average of three to eight weeks for a vet to get into a VA doctor, but we can fly a robot rocket ship up a camel’s asshole from the other side of the god-damn planet in a matter of minutes.”
Steve Benen, writing for MSNBC’s “Maddow Blog,” sums up the bits and pieces of Donald Trump’s poorly handled press conference yesterday regarding the dispersal of funds to veterans’ charities:
So where does that leave us? Trump said he’d raised $6 million for veterans, but that wasn’t true. He later claimed he never used the $6 million figure, but that wasn’t true. His campaign insisted Trump had contributed $1 million himself, but that wasn’t true. Trump said he “didn’t want to have credit” for the fundraising efforts, but that wasn’t true. He said he and his team were vetting groups they’d never heard of four months after the fact, but that wasn’t true.
And as of yesterday, all of this, the Republican candidate insisted, is the media’s fault. Indeed, Trump thinks journalists should be “ashamed” of themselves for scrutinizing his claims that turned out to be wrong.
Not to put too fine a point on this, but in a normal year, in a normal party, with a normal candidate, this is the sort of controversy that could end a campaign. Legitimate presidential hopefuls can get away with some dissembling and the occasional whopper, but Trump was caught telling obvious falsehoods about support for veterans’ charities.
If this happened to Hillary Clinton, is there any doubt it would be the #1 issue in the presidential race between now and Election Day? That every pundit in America would use this as Exhibit A in their takes on why Americans just can’t trust the Democrat?