Eric Trump is getting mocked on social media after claiming that he has friends in the military who say they spend more time on “woke” causes than on combat training.
“This is the priority of our military,” he said. “I have friends who were in the military right now, who were saying they spend more time on woke causes and paperwork and nonsense and seminars and desensit—than they do on actually learning how to fight. Do you think they’re worried about this in China?”
Trump and many other conservatives have frequently attacked the military under President Joe Biden for going “woke,” in part because of policies that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Trump’s comments come after a spate of articles this weekend in conservative outlets that claimed, based off a few TikToks, the military had gone woke and that Gen Z was ruining it.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) railed against the supposed woke policies in July, saying: “This is changing the character of the military, it’s changing the culture of our services, and it’s creating a situation in which great warriors have been driven away and recruiting is at an all-time low,” he said on the campaign trail in July.”
But former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley pushed back on that sort of characterization, telling CNN in September that what he sees “is a military that’s exceptionally strong.”
“This military is a lot of things, but woke, it’s not. So I take exception to that,” Milley said. “I think that people say those things for reasons that are their own reasons, but it’s not true. It’s not accurate,” he continued. “It’s not a broad-brush description of the U.S. military as it exists today.”
Trump’s statement was rejected by critics, however, it wasn’t his “woke” claim itself that was subjected to mockery online.
“Don’t be silly. Eric Trump has no friends,” responded one user.
“The only friends Eric has are imaginary,” wrote someone else.
“Most people stop having imaginary friends around the age of nine. But not Eric Trump,” quipped a separate user.
Another X user questioned Trump’s use of the past tense—that he has friends who were in the military—coupled with the phrase “right now.”
“How’s that possible?” she wrote. “I have family that served in our military. Kinda impossible for them to be there ‘right’ now still serving. Then again this is the really dumb one.”
Concluded another person: “It’s always a friend of a friends sisters husbands cousins long lost half auntie, and never direct.”