HARRISBURG, Pa. – Hillary Clinton denounced Donald Trump’s comments about post-traumatic stress disorder, saying it showed his “insensitivity and ignorance” and reinforced a “stigma” around the condition.
“Donald Trump’s comments are not just ignorant, they are harmful because they give voice to a stigma that has led generations of veterans to hide their struggles instead of getting lifesaving help,” Clinton said during a news conference in Washington on Tuesday.
Clinton was responding to Trump’s suggestion at a campaign event Monday that veterans who suffer from PTSD weren’t “strong” and “can’t handle” combat.
“When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat, they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over,” Trump said. “And you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it.”
Earlier in the day, during a rally, Clinton characterized Trump’s statement as a pattern of comments that disqualify him from holding the office of president.
Trump showed “his insensitivity and ignorance about a condition that affects a lot of very brave, and yes, strong men and women who have served our country,” Clinton said. “It’s a little difficult even coming up with answers to everything he says. Because every day is something else which shows without a doubt that he is unqualified and unfit to be president and commander in chief.”
Clinton’s rebuke of Trump came hours after Vice President Biden angrily criticized Trump’s PTSD statement in an interview.
“Every one of our troops matter. Their wounds can be visible and invisible. Most of us know that but apparently Donald doesn’t,” Clinton said. “Every American dealing with mental health challenges deserves compassion whether they’ve ever served in uniform or not.”