Donald Trump’s habit of claiming endorsements that do not exist kicked into gear again Tuesday morning, when the Republican nominee claimed to have been endorsed “largely, at least conceptually, by the military.”
Trump made the comment in an interview with WJXT in Jacksonville, Florida. In the same interview, Trump said “I’ve been endorsed by virtually every police department and police group.”
Obviously, the military and police departments don’t endorse candidates for president. It’s even unusual for retired military and intelligence officers, like Gen. Michael Flynn, a vocal and active Trump supporter, to stray into presidential politics.
Trump does have the endorsements of many national law enforcement membership organizations, as the Huffington Post notes, including the National Fraternal Order of Police, the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, and the National Border Patrol Council.
But these groups don’t come close to representing all of American law enforcement, though Trump frequently claims to have the community’s broad support in rallies.
And though active duty service members prefer Trump in one poll, they don’t seem to do so enthusiastically.
A Military Times/Institute for Veterans and Military Families survey conducted Oct. 12-14 asked 2,500 active duty service members who they would vote for if the election were held today. Trump received 40.5 percent of the vote to Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson’s 27 percent and Hillary Clinton’s 20.6 percent.
Clinton lead in that same poll among female service members, 36 percent to Trump’s 26 percent, and tied with Gary Johnson among military officers at just over 31 percent. More than 60 percent of respondents said they had little faith that either Clinton or Trump could lead the military as commander-in-chief. The poll had a margin of error of “roughly 2 percent.”