06 James McConville 2President Donald Trump used to refer to military commanders as “his generals.” Recently, he claimed that “the soldiers are in love with me.”

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville has pushed back on Trump’s assertion that Pentagon leaders go to war to please arms manufacturers. “I can assure the American people that the senior leaders would only recommend sending our troops to combat when it’s required for national security and as a last resort,” McConville said during an interview with Defense One online. Trump told White House reporters that “the top people in the Pentagon” don’t like him “because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”

McConville made a point of saying he was not responding to Trump’s claims. A recent Military Times poll found that Trump’s support among active-duty service members has fallen over the past year. The Atlantic magazine this month reported that Trump disparaged U.S. service members as “losers” and “suckers,” allegations that have been confirmed by the Associated Press, CNN and other news organizations. The White House has vehemently denied the allegations.

Pictured: U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville

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