- President Trump was slammed on Friday by Chesley Burnett “Sully” Sullenberger III, the pilot famous for landing a damaged plane on the Hudson River in 2009, saving all 155 people on board.
- Sully, a US Air Force veteran, criticized Trump as “a coward” who is “completely unfit for” office in a scathing Twitter thread.
- Sully, a registered Republican, tweeted the comments in response to reports that Trump referred to fallen soldiers as “suckers” and “losers,” and that the president did not understand why people chose to serve in the armed forces.
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The pilot famous for successfully landing a damaged plane on the Hudson River struck out at President Donald Trump on Friday, responding to reports that Trump repeatedly disparaged active duty and veteran servicemen and women.
Captain Chesley Burnett “Sully” Sullenberger III tweeted on Friday in response to a report from The Atlantic. The president said that Marines who died in World War I were “suckers” and “losers,” and said he did not want wounded soldiers featured in a military parade because “no one wants to see that,” according to The Atlantic report, which was confirmed by a Fox News correspondent.
According to The Atlantic, Trump also questioned those who choose to serve in the armed forces, rather than following a higher-earning career path, asking “[w]hat’s in it for them?”
Sullenberger, who served as a fighter pilot in the US Air Force before becoming a commercial pilot for US Airways from 1980-2010, tweeted Friday evening calling Trump “selfish” and “a coward,” accusing the president of being “completely unfit for” and having “no respect for the office he holds.”
—Sully Sullenberger (@Captsully) September 4, 2020
“I have long known that serving a cause greater than oneself is the highest calling, whether in the military or in civilian life. And I have always tried to be a voice of reason and to speak in a measured way,” Sullenberger tweeted. “But this situation calls for a much more direct approach. It is time to call out egregious behavior for what it is.”
“For the first time in American history, a president has repeatedly shown utter and vulgar contempt and disrespect for those who have served and died serving our country,” he added.
Sullenberger was the pilot in command of US Airways Flight 1549 in January 2009, when the plane struck a flock of geese while departing New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The plane lost power in both engines. Sullenberger determined that the plane could not successfully reach a runway, and instead made an emergency crash landing on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board survived.
Sullenberger has worked as an aviation safety expert and speaker since retiring from US Airways in 2010.
A registered Republican who was approached by the GOP in 2009 about running for Congress, Sullenberger endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden for president earlier this year.