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Trump suggests fallen American military members endorse his full withdrawal of troops from Syria

"They're all coming back, and they're all coming back now. We won, and that's the way we want it, and that's the way they want it."

Donald Trump in a screengrab from a tweet on December 19, 2018. (realDonaldTrump/Twitter)
Donald Trump in a screengrab from a tweet on December 19, 2018. (realDonaldTrump/Twitter)

President Donald Trump unilaterally declared victory over ISIS on Wednesday morning.

The announcement of a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria was met with surprise by Trump’s own State Department — which said there was was no clear timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops, and that “nobody is declaring a mission accomplished” just eight days ago — and disapproval by numerous congressional Republicans.

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Despite an August UN report that ISIS still has around 15,000 to 20,000 members in Syria, the president took an unearned victory lap on Wednesday evening.

And in typical Trump fashion, he went too far.

In a video posted to his Twitter account, the president of the United States appeared to suggest members of the American military who were killed in action would have endorsed his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, pointing to the sky twice in a span of around 20 seconds.

After touting the sudden victory over ISIS and claiming “we’ve taken back the land,” Trump gestured toward the sky while saying, “And I’ll tell you, they’re up there looking down on us, and there is nobody happier or more proud of their families to put them in a position where they’ve done such good for so many people.”

In case the meaning of the president’s incoherent rambling wasn’t entirely clear, Trump again pointed to the sky at the end of the video and suggested fallen American troops would endorse his decision.

“They’re all coming back, and they’re all coming back now. We won, and that’s the way we want it, and that’s the way they want it.”

Just last month, Trump reportedly skipped an event to honor fallen American military members due to rain and wind. The president still hasn’t visited U.S. troops in combat overseas, after nearly two years in office. Last year, Trump claimed a Gold Star widow was lying when she said the president “couldn’t remember” the name of her husband — U.S. Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson, who was killed in Niger — when he made a condolence call to Johnson’s family. ProPublica reported in August that Trump has ceded oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs to a “shadow cabinet” comprised of wealthy members of Mar-a-Lago, the Trump-owned private golf club in Florida.

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Gold Star families demanded an apology from the then-Republican presidential nominee in 2016 after he attacked the parents of U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

After Khan’s father, Khizr Khan, criticized Trump for having “sacrificed nothing and no one” during a speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, the future president claimed he had “made a lot of sacrifices” in an interview on ABC.

“I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”

Veterans were equally outraged after Trump attacked the military credentials of former Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a decorated veteran who was captured and tortured in Vietnam.

Compounding all of it is the fact that Trump is an alleged draft dodger, having relied on multiple deferments during the Vietnam War, including one for bone spurs supposedly sustained while playing squash and tennis.

Trump reportedly made his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria after a phone call with Turkish autocratic president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.