Trump orders flags flown at half-staff for 'soldiers'

Trump orders flags flown at half-staff for 'soldiers'
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Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE said Tuesday that he has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at all Trump properties in honor of four Marines and a sailor killed last week in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Trump also referred to the victims as "soldiers," which refers specifically to people who serve in the Army, although it is sometimes used to describe troops generically.

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In a statement on his Facebook page, Trump issued the order and criticized the President Obama, who at that time had not yet ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at the White House and other public buildings

"This disgraceful omission is unacceptable and yet another example of our incompetent politicians. It is a simple yet meaningful and important gesture that signifies our respect and recognition for these great soldiers who lost their lives," Trump said in a statement. 

Trump's comment prompted backlash from at least one Marine veteran, Todd Bowers, former deputy executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, who Tweeted, "Good thing he knows the difference between Marines, Sailors and Soldiers. This is embarrassing."

Trump's own commitment to veterans has come under question after he said last weekend that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a Vietnam prisoner of war, was "not a hero." 

Trump sought multiple student deferments during the Vietnam War, and was medically disqualified for what he said was a bone spur.  

The statement on Trump's Facebook page said in addition to lowering the flags, the candidate has established a hotline at 855-VETS-352, and an email address, veterans@donaldtrump.com, for veterans to share their stories about the need to reform the "Veterans Administration" — or Department of Veterans Affairs. 

"If he is elected President he will take care of these and all Veteran complaints very quickly and efficiently like a world-class business man can do, but a politician has no clue," it said.