Donald Trump is apparently trying to repair his relationship with veterans after publicly shitting on a former P.O.W. by the name of John McCain. (“He’s a war hero because he was captured,” Trump remarked to an audience in Iowa on Saturday. “I like people who weren’t captured, OK?”)
His latest empty gesture to prove his love for our past servicemen and -women is to set up a “hotline” for veterans to call and communicate their issues to Trump. As his campaign put it in a press release announcing the hotline:
If he is elected President he will take care of…all Veteran complaints very quickly and efficiently like a world-class business man can do, but a politician has no clue.
But any vet calling 855-VETS-352 will likely be disappointed. If you try it — even though you’re assured that you are “the first person in the queue” — you might just get five minutes of hold music and then be asked to call back during normal business hours. This applies regardless of whether you are in fact calling during normal business hours.
If you call again a few minutes later, someone might actually pick up. It might be a guy who says he’s not affiliated with the campaign and sounds like he’s either high or has recently been awoken from a long nap. He might give you an email address and a mailing address to which to send “documentation” of your veteran-related problem, whatever it is.
If you ask what will actually happen to that documentation — will Trump actually, you know, do anything? — this blissfully unaware dude will “unfortunately not have that information.” He is a gaping void of information, he might explain. He only has the addresses.
One of those addresses is at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue — the whole tower, no suite number. The other is an email address, email@example.com. (An address that is, again, not to be used for playing jokes, guys.)
If you then call Trump’s media representative to talk through all this hotline stuff, you may get a different message. It might say “we’re sorry, all circuits are busy now. Will you please try your call again later? This is a recording.”
And it will be a recording.
ALSO: Trump announced today that he has “ordered” all of his many tremendous luxurious properties to fly their flags at half-mast. This also-empty gesture is designed to honor the four Marines killed in Tennessee last week. Do you live or work near a Trump building? Can you see the flag? Is it at half-mast? Is it just a recording? Send us a tip to the email below.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 21, 2015