The liberal media immediately jumped all over his remarks, twisting his words to make it sound as though Trump said veterans who commit suicide or have PTSD aren't "strong" and "can't handle" the horrors of war.
Trump listens to a question at the Retired American Warriors conference in Herndon, Va., on Monday.
In addition to being offensive, his implication that PTSD only afflicts soldiers not "strong" enough to "handle it" is simply incorrect, as numerous people have been quick to point out via social media and articles like this one. "Unfortunately, Donald Trump's statement today shows he is not only ignorant of the facts but continues to perpetuate a stigma that is taking the lives of 22 veterans a day".
"The whole mental health issue is going to be a very important issue when I take over, and the VA is going to be fixed in so many ways, but that's gonna be one of the ways we're gonna help", Trump said. John McCain, a POW for over five years whom he said is not a war hero. "We are losing so many great people we could take care of it they had proper care".
Trump's critics and some veterans' groups condemned Trump, saying his comments were yet another instance of the GOP nominee disrespecting veterans and the military. "Yes I would. We need that so badly".
Marine Staff Sergeant Chad Robichaux, whose question at the event prompted Trump's statement, said the critical reaction was "sickening" and accused others of manipulating Trump's words.
Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Joe Davis also put out a brief statement that seemed to agree with Trump's premise: "It is true that not everyone can handle traumatic events, be it from war, bad auto accidents, violent crime or even surviving a hurricane".
Flynn said Trump respects veterans and "was highlighting the challenges veterans face when returning home after serving their country".
When asked in a room full of military veterans Monday whether he'd support a more holistic approach to mental health care for vets, Donald Trump said "yes". Trump has cast himself a champion of veterans during his campaign and in July pledged to reform federal programs for war veterans.
Paul Rieckhoff, CEO and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, tweeted that "every national leader has responsibility to use accurate and appropriate language when talking about mental health" and called for a national dialogue on the issue.