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CNN Panel Rips Trump’s Comments on Vietnam, Lack of Military Service: ‘Sad, Insulting, Galling’

On CNN’s Erin Burnett Outfront, a guest panel including former Lt. Gen. Mark Hurtling blasted President Donald Trump‘s recent, misleading comments about the Vietnam War and his convenient excuses for not serving in the military.

“My reaction?” Hertling said in response to Trump’s comments during a British TV interview. “I was 18 years old in 1971 when I registered for the draft in Missouri. Everybody had heard of the Vietnam War.”

Hertling also took aim at Trump’s failure to live up to the principles of selfless service he now claims to champion.

“There were a whole bunch of people during the Vietnam era that didn’t want to serve either,” Hertling noted. “I was in the army during that period. And there were not a whole lot of people volunteering to go to Vietnam. No one wanted to fight that war. And there are 50,000-plus names on a black granite wall in Washington, D.C. who went and didn’t want to go and sacrificed their lives. This is just insulting to the military. And I can’t understand how people allow him to get away with in kind of B.S.”

The panel was reacting to Trump once again stirring outrage about his lack of military service, this time an interview with Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan, where Trump said “nobody ever heard of the country [Vietnam]” during the U.S.’s war in that country and “I wouldn’t have minded serving” in the military.

“This cuts like a knife, Erin,” said April Ryan, CNN contributor and D.C. bureau chief of the American Urban Radio Networks, who has clashed with the White House numerous times. “Now he is potentially sending service members, military members to Iran or any other place where there is a hot spot. They don’t have an option about it. And it’s a sad state of affairs for a United States president to say that.”

CNN political analyst David Gergen also weighed in, pointing out the particularly inappropriate timing of the comments, coming on the eve of the anniversary of D-Day.

“Let’s be very clear, Erin, the only thing that veterans hate more than a draft dodger is a man who lies about it. And that’s what this president has been doing about his military, lack of military service for a number of years now,” Gergen said. “I just want to say one other thing. It’s particularly galling that he would take — that these views would once again come up and be featured in a news story tonight, on the 75th anniversary of D-Day. This ought to be a day we solemnly remember and instead we have Donald Trump parading this fraudulent story.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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