WASHINGTON (AP) — Trump was speaking at an event organized by the Retired American Warriors political action committee Monday when he was asked about his commitment to faith-based programs aimed at preventing suicides and helping soldiers suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and other issues.
“When you talk about the mental health problems — when people come back from war and combat, and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over, and you’re strong and you can handle it. But a lot of people can’t handle it,” he said.
“And they see horror stories. They see events that you couldn’t see in a movie, nobody would believe it,” he added.
The comment drew condemnation from critics as well as veterans’ groups that have been working for years to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues in an effort to encourage soldiers to seek treatment
Vice President Joe Biden is assailing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for remarks suggesting that soldiers who suffer from mental health issues might not be as strong as those who don’t.
Biden says, “How can he be so out of touch.” In an interview that aired Tuesday on CNN, the vice president also said Trump is “not a bad man.” But he added: “His ignorance is profound, so profound.”
Biden also said government leaders in general, including Democrats, haven’t communicated well enough with American people feeling “scared” about their future.
“We don’t speak to them enough,” he said. Biden suggested that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton needs to speak more fiercely about issues she cares about, but also said “every time she expresses emotion, she gets clobbered.”
He called Trump “this megaphone out there” and said supporters “think he speaks to them because they haven’t been listening to what he’s been saying.”
Veteran and Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton responded to Trump’s comments on soldiers’ mental health as well.
“Donald Trump has not sacrificed a thing in his life. His shameful comments today will make the stigma of mental illness worse and our fight against veteran suicide harder,” Moulton said.
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