In an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump said that he does not support the G.I. Bill.
The G.I. Bill, or Servicemen's Readjustment Act, was implemented in 1944 following World War II. It was designed to help service members returning from war cover the costs associated with getting an education or training. It includes low-cost mortgages, low-interest loans to start a business, cash payments of tuition and living expenses to attend university, high school or vocational program, as well as one year of unemployment compensation.
In the exchange with Cuomo, Trump asserted that he did not want to hurt our vets and that he was going to help them. But when pressed as to whether he supported the G.I. Bill, Trump said he did not.
CHRIS CUOMO: “Is that a yes, “I do support the current GI bill?”
DONALD TRUMP: “No. I want to bring jobs back to our country and make the country grow again. I just traveled. I won so many states in a row in massive landslides and part of the reason was trade.”
Later that day, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, released the following statement in response to Donald Trump's comments on the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill:
"This morning, Donald Trump was asked point blank if he supported the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, and he said no. For a candidate who talks a big game about helping veterans, this is a rather astonishing statement. As a veteran myself, I understand just how instrumental this legislation has been in ensuring that the brave men and women who serve our country have every opportunity to succeed when they finish their service. Our vets simply cannot risk a president who doesn’t understand their needs.”
Trump’s reluctance to discuss the G.I. Bill in his interview led some to speculate that the candidate wasn’t actually familiar with the bill itself. That seems incredibly unlikely, however, since Trump is running to be Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces.
The G.I. Bill enjoys a high level of support among U.S. servicemembers.