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Sarah Sanders says Trump didn't always give 'the highest level of respect' to military

Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended President Trump Tuesday in a fiery appearance on ‘The View’ where she spoke to her former boss’s ‘heart’ but admitted he didn’t always treat military members with respect. 

Sanders, who is promoting a book that lavishes praise on her former boss even amid tell-alls by other former aides, was grilled on ABC’s ‘The View’ about last week’s story in the Atlantic magazine that described Trump as calling fallen military members ‘suckers’ and ‘losers.’

She has said repeatedly that one key passage in the story, where Trump refused to go to visit a cemetery where Marine dead are buried on the centennial of the end of World War I, didn’t happen. 

‘I’m telling you I understand who he is in his heart,’ Sanders said.

'I’m not saying that there weren’t some moments that were heated, that were not of the highest level of respect,' former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in an exchange with Meghan McCain on ABC's 'The View.' She was speaking about a report charging President Trump disrespected military members as 'suckers'

‘I’m not saying that there weren’t some moments that were heated, that were not of the highest level of respect,’ former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in an exchange with Meghan McCain on ABC’s ‘The View.’ She was speaking about a report charging President Trump disrespected military members as ‘suckers’

She was challenged by co-host Meghan McCain, whose father famously clashed with Trump. ‘I like people who weren’t captured,’ Trump said in 2015 in reference to McCain, who spent 5 1/2 years in a Vietnamese P.O.W. camp.

Meghan McCain brought up Trump initially not wanting flags to fly at half mast, then ultimately relenting. She said she had spoken to him by phone. ‘I think he’s aware that there’s been serious damage done’ by his comments,’ she said.  

‘It’s not because I’m a surrogate for the president. It’s because I witnessed it with my own eyes. I saw the president day in and day out treat the men and women of our military with respect,’ Sanders countered.

Sanders got grilled on ABC's 'The View' as she promotes her new book

Sanders got grilled on ABC’s ‘The View’ as she promotes her new book

Meghan McCain brought up famous feuds between Trump and the late Sen. John McCain

Meghan McCain brought up famous feuds between Trump and the late Sen. John McCain

'I like people who weren't captured,' Trump said in 2015 in reference to McCain (lower right), who spent 5 1/2 years in a Vietnamese P.O.W. camp.

‘I like people who weren’t captured,’ Trump said in 2015 in reference to McCain (lower right), who spent 5 1/2 years in a Vietnamese P.O.W. camp.

Trump repeatedly brought up McCain's vote not to repeal Obamacare both before and after his death

Trump repeatedly brought up McCain’s vote not to repeal Obamacare both before and after his death

McCain spent more than five years in a North Vietnamese POW camp and sustained injuries when his plane went down over Hanoi

McCain spent more than five years in a North Vietnamese POW camp and sustained injuries when his plane went down over Hanoi

‘I watched him lean over and touch a veteran’s face who had lost his arms because he wanted to feel human contact,’ she continued. ‘I’m not saying that there weren’t some moments that were heated, that were not of the highest level of respect. But when it comes to who this president is, at his heart, and how he feels about the men and women of our armed services, I can say from my own experience he has a great level of respect.’

She may have been referencing the time Trump touched the face of a man at a rally in Rock Hill, S.C. The man had two prosthetic arms, and Trump signed one of them. But a fact-checker debunked many media posts about the incident. Although the man wore a commo hat, there isn’t evidence he served in the military. He also was born without his arms. 

Trump’s 2016 campaign posted a video of the encounter during the campaign. It had subbed in the video after another video had to be taken down when it was revealed it contained an image of a veteran bearing Russian military insignia rather than U.S. medals and ribbons.  

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