National Security

Trump Reveals the Hardest Part ‘by Far’ of His Job in the White House

Poignant words from the president this week deserve pause, respect, and remembrance amid today's chaos and strife

Image Credit: Twitter, Donald J. Trump

“The hardest thing I have to do, by far — much harder than the witch hunt — is signing letters to parents of soldiers that have been killed,” President Donald Trump said in an emotional speech at the White House this week, words that have nearly been overlooked by most mainstream media outlets but are worth some extra time and reflection.

His comments came in the context of his decision to pull American troops out of Syria — for which he’s been criticized.

But the president has stood by his decision, one he campaigned on — and has taken some time to explain his larger thoughts about the troop withdrawal and the devastating effect of war, conflict and violence on the families of those who are lost in the name of America.

“And especially when that solider is killed on a ‘blue on green’ attack … He takes the gun and he turns it …”

“The hardest thing I have to do is signing those letters,” the president also said on this topic. “That’s the hardest thing I have to do. And each letter is different,” Trump continued. “We make each letter different.”

“And last week, I signed five of them for Afghanistan, one in Iraq, one in Syria from two weeks ago. And sometimes I call the parents. Sometimes I see the parents.”

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“I go to Dover when I can, but — it’s so devastating for the parents, that, you know — it’s so devastating,” he said.

Related: Sen. Rand Paul Supports Trump on Troop Pullout

“When they bring that boy or young woman out of those big powerful planes in a coffin, and the parents are there … The parents seem to be OK [at first, before they see the coffin] … I get there early … And then I see it … And that door comes down. And they are walking the coffin, with their boy inside this coffin, with an American flag over the top. And they’re walking this coffin down this ramp … [and they] scream like I’ve never seen anything before.”

“Sometimes they’ll run to the coffin,” said the president. “They’ll run to the coffin and jump on top of the coffin, crying — mothers and wives, crying desperately. And this is on these endless wars that just never stop. And there’s a time and there’s a place. But it’s time to stop,” said the president.

“Just to finish. Last Friday, I went to Walter Reed. And I gave out five purple hearts, to incredible young men … They took a beating. Beautiful people. They took a beating … But for me, it’s very hard, when I see that, it’s very hard. It’s easy to talk, tough — all these tough guys: ‘Let’s keep fighting. Let’s keep fighting.’ But if they had to go to Walter Reed,” said the president.

He added, “They’re the best in the world. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Trump also said in his remarks this week that if he did not pull our troops out of Syria now — soldiers will be there forever.

“We interject ourself into wars, and we interject ourselves into tribal wars and revolutions and all of these things that are very … they’re not the kind of thing that you settle the way we’d like to see it settled,” Trump said.

“It just doesn’t … It just doesn’t work that way.”

See his emotional speech:

His decision to withdraw troops from the Middle East was among his campaign promises, as he noted this week.

On Wednesday, Turkey launched a military offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, just days after Trump announced the U.S. troops pullout.

Although the Trump administration agreed to remove our troops, which had been working as allies with local Kurds to fight ISIS, Trump said in a statement on Wednesday that the White House told Turkey “that this operation is a bad idea,” as The New York Post noted.

Turkey “has committed to protecting civilians, protecting religious minorities, including Christians, and ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place,” the president said. “And we will hold them to this commitment.”

He defended the troop removal:

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