Thursday, September 08, 2016

Attacks at Commander in Chief Forum--Was Clinton Held to a Higher Standard?

A ground rule for the Commander in Chief Forum, hosted by NBC on Sept. 8, 2016, was that the candidates should not use the forum as an opportunity to attack the opponent. Both were reminded of this at the beginning of their respective half hour interviews.
It’s often said that Hillary Clinton is held to a higher standard for behavior and honesty than her opponent. An analysis by your News Companion of the candidates' words at the forum reveals the following:

Clinton criticized Trump on three occasions—143 words out of a total of 2744. Trump agreed to keep attacks to a minimum, “absolutely”, then went negative 18 times--879 words out of a total of 3226. Clinton went negative 5% of the time. Trump went negative 27% of the time.

By word count, Trump broke the rule five times more often than Clinton, and yet only Clinton was called out for breaking the rule, when Lauer interrupted her, saying, “And we tried to have an agreement…”

Other Troubling Aspects of the Forum

This was the first time the two candidates appeared on the same stage on the same night, first one, then the other, with their contrasting styles very much in evidence. Clinton gave long, detailed answers, while Donald Trump's responses were clipped.
  • The Emails: Hillary Clinton's half hour began with an extended grilling about her emails and whether they suggest she is unfit for the presidency. This is part of a long, judo-like tradition of using Clinton's strength's against her. For anyone who believes public servants should be working hard for us, the impressive number of emails, in the tens of thousands, could be taken as evidence of her work ethic and extensive experience with foreign affairs. Instead, by alleging wrongdoing, her opponents make us think not of hard work and deep commitment to country, but of some vast impropriety. Though not mentioned at the forum, Colin Powell had also used a private email account, because the State Department's email system was slow and cumbersome. 
  • Trump's Secret Plan: Trump, when asked repeatedly about how he planned to solve this or that problem, gave few or no specifics, quickly veering instead into attacks on Obama and Clinton. Asked how he would defeat Isis, he claimed to have a plan, but then said he'd ask generals for a plan. The interviewer pointed out that Trump had earlier claimed he knew more than the generals about Isis. That inconsistency led to more attacks on Clinton and Obama. In other words, we have a candidate more comfortable with attacking his opponent than offering coherent proposals. 
  • Dictatorial Tendencies?: Trump suggested that, given our huge investment in money and lives in Iraq--he said $3 trillion--that we should have taken all of their oil. "To the victor belong the spoils," he said. That way, Isis would not have had oil to fund their terrorism. Speaking positively of Putin, who has invaded and claimed other countries, Trump noted Putin's high popularity rating and said, "the man has very strong control over a country." Trump portrayed our country as currently weak and embarrassed by other nations. We have a "depleted military" and "We’re losing our jobs like we’re a bunch of babies." Obama is poorly treated by other countries, e.g. when the Chinese failed to provide stairs for him to walk down from his plane. In his convention speech, Trump had claimed that "our citizens ... have lived through one international humiliation after another". The world's most notorious dictator, prior to World War II, portrayed his country as "defenseless", and a victim of "the most humiliating treatment ever meted out to a great nation." Similarity in speech does not necessarily equal similarity in intent (a survey of language used by other dictators would be instructive), and yet, when Trump portrays our country as humiliated by foreign powers, and praises a foreign strongman, and speaks of extracting foreign oil as "spoils", what does he mean when he says he'll make our country great again?
  • No Mention of Climate Change: Our military leaders see climate change increasingly as a destabilizing influence in the world, and therefore a security threat. Climate change likely played a role in the extended drought that contributed to destabilization of Syria. Trump's denial of climate change raises questions about his ability to identify threats, and yet the subject was not raised.
Below are the candidates’ words (all questions removed), with attacks in red. For each candidate, the words in attack sentences in red were counted and compared to the candidate's total verbal output.
Matt, how are you? Good to see you. Thank you. Hi. How are you?
Thank you very much. I’m happy you’re doing this.
I think that’s an exactly right way to proceed.
This is a very important decision for our country. And each of us should be presenting our experience, our expertise, and our plans to protect and defend the United States and our allies around the world.
Steadiness. An absolute rock steadiness, and mixed with strength to be able to make the hard decisions. Because I’ve had the unique experience of watching and working with several presidents. And these are not easy decisions. If they were, they wouldn’t get to the president in the first place.
And when you’re sitting in the Situation Room, as I have on numerous occasions, particularly with respect to determining whether to recommend the raid against bin Laden, what you want in a president, a commander-in-chief, is someone who listens, who evaluates what is being told to him or her, who is able to sort out the very difficult options being presented…
… and then makes the decision. Makes the decision, that’s right.
Temperament and judgment, yes.
Well, Matt, first of all, as I have said repeatedly, it was a mistake to have a personal account. I would certainly not do it again. I make no excuses for it. It was something that should not have been done.
But the real question is the handling of classified material, which is I think what the implication of your question was. And for all the viewers watching you tonight, I have a lot of experience dealing with classified material, starting when I was on the Senate Armed Services Committee going into the four years as secretary of state. Classified material has a header which says “top secret,” “secret,” “confidential.” Nothing — and I will repeat this, and this is verified in the report by the Department of Justice — none of the e-mails sent or received by me had such a header.
Yes, because — of course, there were no discussions of any of the covert actions in process being determined about whether or not to go forward. But every part of our government had to deal with questions, and the secretary of state’s office was first and foremost. So there are ways of talking about the drone program…
Well, let me say, the FBI just released their report about their investigation, they discussed drone matters in the unclassified section of their report.
Well, Matt, I just respectfully point to the hundreds of experienced foreign policy experts, diplomats, defense officials who were communicating information on the unclassified system because it was necessary to answer questions and to be able publicly to go as far as we could, which was not acknowledging the program.
But I would be in Pakistan, as I was on several occasions. There might very well have been a strike. I would be asked in a public setting, in an interview, about it. It was known to have happened. We had to have an answer that did not move into classified area. And I think we handled that appropriately.
Matt, there is no evidence. Of course anything is possible. But what is factual is the State Department system was hacked. Most of the government systems are way behind the curve. We’ve had hacking repeatedly, even in the White House. There is no evidence my system was hacked.
Well, I appreciate your concern and also your experience. But let me try to make the distinctions that I think are important for me to answer your question.
First, as I said to Matt, you know and I know classified material is designated. It is marked. There is a header so that there is no dispute at all that what is being communicated to or from someone who has that access is marked classified.
And what we have here is the use of an unclassified system by hundreds of people in our government to send information that was not marked, there were no headers, there was no statement, top secret, secret, or confidential.
I communicated about classified material on a wholly separate system. I took it very seriously. When I traveled, I went into one of those little tents that I’m sure you’ve seen around the world because we didn’t want there to be any potential for someone to have embedded a camera to try to see whatever it is that I was seeing that was designated, marked, and headed as classified.
So I did exactly what I should have done and I take it very seriously, always have, always will.
Look, I think that the decision to go to war in Iraq was a mistake. And I have said that my voting to give President Bush that authority was, from my perspective, my mistake. I also believe that it is imperative that we learn from the mistakes, like after- action reports are supposed to do, and so we must learn what led us down that path so that it never happens again. I think I’m in the best possible position to be able to understand that and prevent it.
But I will say this. I’m asking to be judged on the totality of my record, what I’ve done for our veterans as first lady, as senator, what I’ve done for Gold Star Families, working with them to increase the death benefit from $12,000 to $100,000, working with Republicans, like Lindsey Graham, to get TRICARE for our National Guard members who didn’t have health care unless they were deployed, working to provide more support for the care of our veterans, those who are wounded, working with the Fisher family, now into the third generation of caring for our fallen heroes, working with John McCain to raise money for Brooke Medical Center’s Intrepid Center to take care of those who are coming back with profound injuries, working on TBI and PTSD and so much more, working with groups to end veteran suicide, like TAPS. So, yes…
There was — there was a mistake. Now, my opponent was for the war in Iraq. He says he wasn’t. You can go back and look at the record. He supported it. He told Howard Stern he supported it. So he supported it before it happened, he supported it as it was happening, and he is on record as supporting it after it happened. I have taken responsibility for my decision.
He refuses to take responsibility for his support. That is a judgment issue.
Well, I assume you’re talking about Iraq, because of my vote, and you probably are talking about Libya, because of the role that I played in the administration’s decision about whether to take on Gadhafi.
But before I get to that, let me say very clearly: I view force as a last resort, not a first choice. I will do everything in my power to make sure that our men and women in the military are fully prepared for any challenge that they may have to face on our behalf.
But I will also be as careful as I can in making the most significant decisions any president and commander-in-chief can make about sending our men and women into harm’s way.
With respect to Libya, again, there’s no difference between my opponent and myself. He’s on record extensively supporting intervention in Libya, when Gadhafi was threatening to massacre his population. I put together a coalition that included NATO, included the Arab League, and we were able to save lives. We did not lose a single American in that action.
And I think taking that action was the right decision. Not taking it, and permitting there to be an ongoing civil war in Libya, would have been as dangerous and threatening as what we are now seeing in Syria.
Right, I did.
You have said you expect the Iranians to cheat, you think they’ll buy time, and perhaps stay along their course to building a nuclear weapon. If they cheat, Secretary Clinton, will you have any course of action other than a military course of action? Would you enter into negotiations with again (ph)? Would you go back to economic sanctions knowing they cheated and are then closer to a nuclear weapon?
Matt, look, let me put this in context, because this is one of the most important strategic questions we face. When I became secretary of state, the Iranians were on a fast track to acquiring the material necessary to get a nuclear weapon. That had happened the prior eight years. They mastered the nuclear fuel cycle, they built covert facilities, they stocked them with centrifuges, and they were moving forward.
What was our decision? Our decision was to try to put together an international coalition that included Russia and China to exert the kind of pressure through sanctions that the United States alone could not do.
Now, wait, let me — look, this is an important issue. I know we’re on TV and we don’t have a lot of time.
I will talk quickly. But I want people to understand this. So, yes, I put together the coalition. We imposed the sanctions. We got them to the negotiating table. And after I left, we got the agreement. That agreement put a lid on their nuclear weapons program and imposed intrusive inspections. I have said we are going to enforce it to the letter.
On the nuclear issue, no. I think we have enough insight into what they’re doing to be able to say we have to distrust but verify. What I am focused on is all the other malicious activities of the Iranians — ballistic missiles, support for terrorists, being involved in Syria, Yemen, and other places, supporting Hezbollah, Hamas.
But here’s the difference, Matt. I would rather as president be dealing with Iran on all of those issues without having to worry as much about their racing for a nuclear weapon. So we have made the world safer; we just have to make sure it’s enforced.
Look, I was outraged by the stories that came out about the V.A. And I have been very clear about the necessity for doing whatever is required to move the V.A. into the 21st century, to provide the kind of treatment options that our veterans today desperately need and deserve. And that’s what I will do as president.
But I will not let the V.A. be privatized. And I do think there is an agenda out there, supported by my opponent, to do just that. I think that would be very disastrous for our military veterans. So I’m going to do everything I can — I’m going to have a meeting every week in the Oval Office. We’re going to bring the V.A. people, we’re going to bring the DOD people, because we’ve got to have a better fit between getting mustered out and getting into the V.A. system, sometimes — and you probably know this, Sergeant — I’ve met so many vets who get mustered out, who leave the service, they can’t find their records from DOD, and those records never make it to the V.A. They feel like they’re living in a funhouse. They have to go over the same things over and over.
We’re living in a technological world. You cannot tell me we can’t do a better job getting that information. And so I’m going to focus on this. I’m going to work with everybody. I’m going to make them work together.
And we’re going to fix the problems in the V.A.
Yes, let’s, please.
Twenty — twenty suicides a day.
Well, this month is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. And I’ve spent a lot of time with family members, survivors, who’ve lost a loved one after he or she came home, sometimes suffering from PTSD or TBI or sexual assault, being handed bags of opioids, not being given an appropriate treatment to help that particular person, which is something, to go back to the sergeant’s question, we have to change.
So I rolled out my mental health agenda last week, and I have a whole section devoted to veterans’ mental health. And we’ve got to remove the stigma. We’ve got to help people currently serving not to feel that if they report their sense of unease, their depression, that somehow it’s going to be a mark against them.
We have to do more about addiction, not only drugs, but also alcohol. So I have put forth a really robust agenda, working with a lot of the VSOs and other groups, like TAPS, who have been thinking about this and trying to figure out what we’re going to do to help our veterans re-enter civilian life and live full, productive lives.
We have to defeat ISIS. That is my highest counterterrorism goal. And we’ve got to do it with air power. We’ve got to do it with much more support for the Arabs and the Kurds who will fight on the ground against ISIS. We have to squeeze them by continuing to support the Iraqi military. They’ve taken back Ramadi, Fallujah. They’ve got to hold them. They’ve got to now get into Mosul.
We’re going to work to make sure that they have the support — they have special forces, as you know, they have enablers, they have surveillance, intelligence, reconnaissance help.
They are not going to get ground troops. We are not putting ground troops into Iraq ever again. And we’re not putting ground troops into Syria. We’re going to defeat ISIS without committing American ground troops. So those are the kinds of decisions we have to make on a case-by-case basis.
And, remember, when I became secretary of state, we had 200,000 troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I’m very grateful that we have brought home the vast majority of those. We have a residual force, as you know, in Afghanistan. We have built up several thousands of the folks that I’ve talked about who are assisting in the fight against ISIS.
But it is in our national security interest to defeat ISIS. And I intend to make that happen.
And as part of it, we’re going after Baghdadi, the leader, because it will help us focus our attention, just like going after bin Laden helped us focus our attention…
in the fight against Al Qaida in the Afghanistan- Pakistan theater.
Well, Matt, I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that that’s the result. I’m not going to, you know, promise something that I think most thinking Americans know is going to be a huge challenge, and here’s why. We’ve got to have an intelligence surge. We’ve got to get a lot more cooperation out of Europe, out of the Middle East. We have to do a better job of not only collecting and analyzing the intelligence we do have, but distributing it much more quickly down the ladder to state and local law enforcement.
We also have to do a better job combating ISIS online, where they recruit, where they radicalize. And I don’t think we’re doing as much as we can. We need to work with Silicon Valley. We need to work with our experts in our government. We have got to disrupt, we have got to take them on in the arena of ideas that, unfortunately, pollute and capture the minds of vulnerable people. So we need to wage this war against ISIS from the air, on the ground, and online, in cyberspace.
And here at home, for goodness’s sakes, we have to finally pass a law prohibiting people on the terrorist watch list from being able to buy a gun in the United States of America. So we’ve got work to do. I know we can do that work. I’m meeting with a group of terror experts, counterterrorism experts.
But I want to just say one additional thing.
Matt Olsen, the former director of the National Center on Counterterrorism, has a great article out today saying the last thing we need to do is to play into the hands of ISIS. Going after American Muslims, defaming a Gold Star family, the family of Captain Khan, making it more difficult for us to have a coalition with Muslim majority nations…
that is not going to help us to succeed in defeating ISIS and protecting our American homeland.
Thank you. Thank you all.
Thank you so much. Too short a time.

Thank you, Matt.
Thank you.
To a minimum, absolutely.
I guess.
Was I supposed to answer this question?
Well, I’ve built a great company. I’ve been all over the world. I’ve dealt with foreign countries. I’ve done very well, as an example, tremendously well dealing with China and dealing with so many of the countries that are just ripping this country. They are just taking advantage of us like nobody’s ever seen before.
And I’ve had great experience dealing on an international basis. I look today and I see Russian planes circling our planes. They’re taunting us. I see in Iran, I see the boats taunting our ships, our destroyers, and I think…
Well, I think the main thing is I have great judgment. I have good judgment. I know what’s going on. I’ve called so many of the shots. And I happened to hear Hillary Clinton say that I was not against the war in Iraq. I was totally against the war in Iraq. From a — you can look at Esquire magazine from ’04. You can look at before that.
And I was against the war in Iraq because I said it’s going to totally destabilize the Middle East, which it has. It has absolutely been a disastrous war, and by the way, perhaps almost as bad was the way Barack Obama got out. That was a disaster.
Well, when you say regret, yeah, sure, I regret. But in the meantime, I beat 16 people and here I am. So, you know, to a certain extent there is a regret. I would have liked to have done it in a nicer manner. But I had 16 very talented people that I had to go through. And that was a lot of people.
That was a record, Matt. That was a record in the history of Republican politics. I was able to get more votes than anybody ever has gotten in the history of Republican politics.
I agree with you.
Well, I think absolutely. I think if you saw what happened in Mexico the other day, where I went there, I had great relationships, everything else. I let them know where the United States stands. I mean, we’ve been badly hurt by Mexico, both on the border and with taking all of our jobs or a big percentage of our jobs.
And if you look at what happened, look at the aftermath today where the people that arranged the trip in Mexico have been forced out of government. That’s how well we did.
And that’s how well we’re going to have to do, Matt.
It’s true.
Well, the generals under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have not been successful. ISIS…
I think under the leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the generals have been reduced to rubble. They have been reduced to a point where it’s embarrassing for our country. You have a force of 30,000 or so people. Nobody really knows. But probably 30,000 people. And I can just see the great — as an example- General George Patton spinning in his grave as ISIS we can’t beat. We had the greatest…
I have great faith in the military. I have great faith in certain of the commanders, certainly. But I have no faith in Hillary Clinton or the leadership. You look at what’s happened. And, you know, when she comes in and starts saying, oh, I would have done this, I would have — she’s been there for 30 years. I mean, we need change, Matt. We have to have it, and we have to have it fast.
Sure. I mean, part of the problem that we’ve had is we go in, we defeat somebody, and then we don’t know what we’re doing after that. We lose it, like as an example, you look at Iraq, what happened, how badly that was handled. And then when President Obama took over, likewise, it was a disaster. It was actually somewhat stable. I don’t think could ever be very stable to where we should have never gone into in the first place.
But he came in. He said when we go out — and he took everybody out. And really, ISIS was formed. This was a terrible decision. And frankly, we never even got a shot. And if you really look at the aftermath of Iraq, Iran is going to be taking over Iraq. They’ve been doing it. And it’s not a pretty picture.
The — and I think you know — because you’ve been watching me I think for a long time — I’ve always said, shouldn’t be there, but if we’re going to get out, take the oil. If we would have taken the oil, you wouldn’t have ISIS, because ISIS formed with the power and the wealth of that oil.
Just we would leave a certain group behind and you would take various sections where they have the oil. They have — people don’t know this about Iraq, but they have among the largest oil reserves in the world, in the entire world.
And we’re the only ones, we go in, we spend $3 trillion, we lose thousands and thousands of lives, and then, Matt, what happens is, we get nothing. You know, it used to be to the victor belong the spoils. Now, there was no victor there, believe me. There was no victor. But I always said: Take the oil.
One of the benefits we would have had if we took the oil is ISIS would not have been able to take oil and use that oil…
to fuel themselves.
Absolutely. The word is unpredictable.
No. But when I do come up with a plan that I like and that perhaps agrees with mine, or maybe doesn’t — I may love what the generals come back with. I will convene…
I have a plan. But I want to be — I don’t want to — look. I have a very substantial chance of winning. Make America great again. We’re going to make America great again. I have a substantial chance of winning. If I win, I don’t want to broadcast to the enemy exactly what my plan is.
And let me tell you, if I like maybe a combination of my plan and the generals’ plan, or the generals’ plan, if I like their plan, Matt, I’m not going to call you up and say, “Matt, we have a great plan.” This is what Obama does. “We’re going to leave Iraq on a certain day.”
Well, they’ll probably be different generals, to be honest with you. I mean, I’m looking at the generals, today, you probably saw, I have a piece of paper here, I could show it, 88 generals and admirals endorsed me today.
Well, it’s not really — it’s not — yeah, numbers. People that have been losing for us for a long period of time. I mean, the fact is, we have had the worst and you could even say the dumbest foreign policy. Our results are so bad. We would have been better off had we never, ever spent $2 in that part of the world.
Yes, I did.
Yes. Very much so.
First of all, I have great respect for the people that gave us the briefings. We — they were terrific people. They were experts on Iraq and Iran and different parts of — and Russia. But, yes, there was one thing that shocked me. And it just seems to me that what they said President Obama and Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, who is another total disaster, did exactly the opposite.
No, I didn’t learn anything from that standpoint. What I did learn is that our leadership, Barack Obama, did not follow what our experts and our truly — when they call it intelligence, it’s there for a reason — what our experts said to do.
And I was very, very surprised. In almost every instance. And I could tell you. I have pretty good with the body language. I could tell they were not happy. Our leaders did not follow what they were recommending.
Hi, thank you very much.
I think that when you serve in the armed forces, that’s a very special situation, and I could see myself working that out, absolutely.
I think military is a very special thing. If they plan on serving, if they get in, I would absolutely hold those people — now, we have to be very careful. We have to vet very carefully. Everybody would agree with that. But the answer is, it would be a very special circumstance, yes. Thank you.
I think I would have a very good relationship with many foreign leaders. I think it’s very sad, when you look at Barack Obama, as an example, lands Air Force One in China, and they don’t want to put out stairs to get off the plane. And he has to use the stairs that mechanics use to get up and down to fix the plane. They wouldn’t give him stairs.
I think it’s very sad, when he lands in Saudi Arabia, and he lands in Cuba, and there aren’t high officials to even greet him. This is the first time in the history — the storied history of Air Force One.
I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Putin. And I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Russia.
As I said, take a look today. Take a look at what happened with their fighter jets circling one of our aircraft in a very dangerous manner. Somebody said less than 10 feet away. This is hostility.
And I saw, just two or three days ago, they looked like they were not exactly getting along, but I looked at President Obama and Putin staring at each other. These were not two people that were getting along.
And, you know, the beautiful part of getting along, Russia wants to defeat ISIS as badly as we do. If we had a relationship with Russia, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could work on it together and knock the hell out of ISIS? Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?
Well, he does have an 82 percent approval rating, according to the different pollsters, who, by the way, some of them are based right here. Look, look…
Well, nobody knows that for a fact. But do you want me to start naming some of the things that President Obama does at the same time?
Well, I think when he calls me brilliant, I’ll take the compliment, OK? The fact is, look, it’s not going to get him anywhere. I’m a negotiator. We’re going to take back our country. You look at what’s happening to our country, you look at the depleted military. You look at the fact that we’ve lost our jobs. We’re losing our jobs like we’re a bunch of babies. We’re going to take back our country, Matt. The fact that he calls me brilliant or whatever he calls me is going to have zero impact.
I think I’d be able to get along with him.
Possibly. It’s possible. I don’t know, Matt. It’s possible. And it’s not going to have any impact. If he says great things about me, I’m going to say great things about him. I’ve already said, he is really very much of a leader. I mean, you can say, oh, isn’t that a terrible thing — the man has very strong control over a country.
Now, it’s a very different system, and I don’t happen to like the system. But certainly, in that system, he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader. We have a divided country. We have a country where you have Hillary Clinton with her e-mails that nobody’s ever seen where she deletes 33,000 e-mails, and that’s after getting a subpoena from Congress. If you do that in private business, you get thrown in jail.
Well, I love that question, because I’ve been very close to the vets. You see the relationship I have with the vets just by looking at the polls. In fact, today a poll came out. And my relationship has been very good.
I have a very, very powerful plan that’s on my website that you possibly saw. One of the big problems is the wait time. Vets are waiting six days, seven days, eight days. And by the way, Hillary Clinton six months ago said the vets are being treated essentially just fine, there’s no real problem, it’s over-exaggerated. She did say that.
Look, I mean, she made up half of the things she said about me. I’m telling you, this is — she said she was satisfied with what was going on in the Veterans Administration.
Now, under my plan, if you’ve got to wait — and, by the way, people are dying on line. They’re dying, waiting, waiting to get to see a doctor. They’re waiting five days and six days.
Under a part of my plan, if they have that long wait, they walk outside, they go to the local doctor, they choose the doctor, they choose the hospital, whether it’s public or private, they get themselves better. In many cases, it’s a minor procedure or a pill or just a prescription. And they end up dying because they can’t get to see the doctor. We will pay the bill. They go outside, they get a doctor, they get a prescription, they do what they have to do, and we pay the bill.
That is something that I have been praised — and, by the way, I never said take the V.A. — take the Veterans Administration private. I wouldn’t do that. Too much respect for our people. I would never do that.
I heard it was said that I said that. I would not do that. But I do believe — I do believe, when you’re waiting in line for six, seven days, you should never be in a position like that. You go out, you see the doctor, you get yourself taken care of.
And actually it’s 22. And it’s almost impossible to conceive that this is happening in our country, 20 to 22 people a day are killing themselves. A lot of it is they’re killing themselves over the fact that they can’t — they’re under tremendous pain and they can’t see a doctor.
We’re going to speed up the process. We’re going to create a great mental health division. They need help. They need help. They need tremendous help. And we’re doing nothing for them.
The V.A. is really almost, you could say, a corrupt enterprise. If you look at what’s going on, as an example, Matt, in Arizona, where they caught people stealing, and they can’t even do anything about it, they can’t even fire the people. So we are going to make it efficient and good. And if it’s not good, you’re going out to private hospitals, public hospitals, and doctors. Thank you very much.
It’s a great question. And it’s a massive problem. The numbers are staggering, hard to believe, even. But we’re going to have to run it very tight. I at the same time want to keep the court system within the military. I don’t think it should be outside of the military. But we have to come down very, very hard on that.
And your daughter is absolutely right, it is a massive problem. But we have to do something about that problem. And the best thing we can do is set up a court system within the military. Right now, the court system practically doesn’t exist. It takes too long.
Well, it is — it is — it is a correct tweet. There are many people that think that that’s absolutely correct. And we need to have a…
Well, it’s happening, right? And, by the way, since then, it’s gotten worse. No, not to take them out, but something has to be happen. Right now, part of the problem is nobody gets prosecuted. You have reported and — the gentleman can tell you, you have the report of rape and nobody gets prosecuted. There are no consequence.
When you have somebody that does something so evil, so bad as that, there has to be consequence for that person. You have to go after that person. Right now, nobody’s doing anything. Look at the small number of results. I mean, that’s part of the problem.
Sure. Well, in the front row, you have four generals. You have admirals. We have people all throughout the audience that I’m dealing with. Right here is a list that was just printed today of 88 admirals and generals that I meet with and I talk to.
I’m also — a lot. A lot. And I’m doing a lot of different things. Don’t forget, we’re running a big campaign. We’re doing very well. I’m also, you know, and I’m very much giving it to my children and my executives to run, I’m also partially running a business. I’m campaigning, I’m running a business. I’ve got a lot of hats right now.
But we’re doing very well. But in the meantime, I am studying. And I’m meeting constantly — you see — you see General Flynn and you see some of the folks that we have, and they’re scattered throughout the audience. So we have admirals, we have generals, we have colonels. We have a lot of people that I respect.
And I think I’ve learned a lot. But I think, also, I certainly — I really feel I have a common sense on the various issues that you’re talking about, Matt.
And we’re not prepared.
One hundred percent. Hey, Matt, again, she made a mistake on Libya. She made a terrible mistake on Libya. And the next thing, I mean, not only did she make the mistake, but then they complicated the mistake by having no management once they bombed you know what out of Gadhafi. I mean, she made a terrible mistake on Libya. And part of it was the management aftereffect. I think that we have great management talents, great management skills.
And I have to tell you — totally prepared. But remember this. I found this subject and these subjects of interest all of my life, Matt. This hasn’t been over the last 14 months. I’ve found these substantiates of tremendous interest. That’s why they were asking me about Iraq 14 years ago. They were asking me these questions. They don’t ask businesspeople those questions.
I think it’s the most difficult decision you can possibly ever make. You’re talking about death. And we’re talking death to not just our side. We’re talking death all over. I would be very, very cautious. I think I’d be a lot slower. She has a happy trigger. You look, she votes for the wars, she goes in Libya…
I think it’s a tremendous burden. I think there is no greater burden that anybody could have. I’ve been preparing this for a long time. And, you know, my theme is make America great again. We’re going to make America great again. But, Matt, we’ve also got to make America strong again. And right now, we are not strong. Believe me. We have a depleted military. We have the greatest people in the world in our military. But it is very sadly depleted.
Thank you, Matt.

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