Shaheen calls on Trump to apologize for downplaying injuries

AP — Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire on Sunday called on President Donald Trump to apologize for minimizing injuries suffered by U.S. service members in an Iranian missile attack on an Iraqi base.

Trump previously downplayed the injuries, saying he’d been told they were “headaches and a couple of other things” and that “it is not very serious.”

Shaheen, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, called those remarks “ignorant” and said he “owes an apology.”

“For generations, battlefield traumatic brain injuries were not understood and often dismissed,” Shaheen said in a statement. “As a society, we’ve come a long way to better recognize and treat TBI, and sympathize with those who are suffering. However, the president’s ignorant comments are a step backwards, especially coming from the commander in chief.”

Shaheen’s comments echo the sentiment of the commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, who also demanded an apology.

All told, 34 U.S. service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries after the Jan. 8 missile attack, the Pentagon said Friday.

Traumatic brain injury has become a bigger concern for the military in recent years. It can involve varying degrees of impairment of thinking, memory, vision, hearing and other functions. The severity and duration of the injury can vary widely.