Army chief responds to Trump criticism: War recommendation is ‘last resort’

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Army chief of staff Gen. James McConville reacted to President Trump after Trump accused Pentagon leaders of opposing him because they want to wage war to support arms companies that develop weapons.

During an interview for Defense One's "State of the Army" event, McConville rejected this idea, stating that military leaders often have children in combat positions.

"I'm talking about general, I'm talking admirals, I'm talking sergeant majors, many of these leaders have sons and daughters that serve in the military, many of these leaders have sons and daughters who have gone to combat or may be in combat right now," McConville said.

"So, I can assure the American people that the senior leaders would only recommend sending our troops to combat when it is required in national security and in the last resort," he continued. "We take this very, very seriously in how we make our recommendations."

Trump and McConville. (Associated Press/Getty Images)

Trump's remarks came Monday during a White House news conference.

"I'm not saying the military's in love with me," Trump said. "The soldiers are, the top people in the Pentagon probably aren't because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs & make the planes & make everything else stay happy."


That remark followed a report in The Atlantic, in which anonymous sources alleged that Trump made disparaging comments about veterans and fallen soldiers. Since the publication of the report, several people who were part of the administration, including former national security adviser John Bolton and former White House deputy chief of staff Zach Fuentes disputed the report, saying they never heard Trump say such things.

During Monday's news conference, Trump reiterated his claim that the Atlantic report was a "hoax," telling reporters that "only an animal would say a thing like that."

Fox News' Jennifer Griffin and Julia Musto contributed to this report.

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