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Trump minimizes severity of head injuries in Iran attacks

SeattlePI.com Wednesday, 22 January 2020
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday minimized the severity of head injuries sustained by U.S. troops during the Iranian missile strikes on two Iraqi air bases as he was pressed on why he'd claimed no troops had been injured in the attacks.

“I heard they had headaches and a couple of other things ... and I can report it is not very serious,” Trump said at a press conference in Davos, Switzerland, arguing that potential traumatic brain injuries are less severe than, say, missing limbs.

“No, I don't consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I've seen,” the Republican president said. “I've seen what Iran has done with their roadside bombs to our troops. I've seen people with no legs and with no arms. I've seen people that were horribly, horribly injured in that area, that war."

“No, I do not consider that to be bad injuries, no,” he added.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that no Americans were harmed in the Iranian missile strikes on Jan. 8, which came in retaliation for a U.S. drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, Iran's most powerful military general.

The question of American casualties was especially significant at the time because Trump cited the fact that no Americans were killed or inured as driving his decision not to retaliate further and risk a broader war with Iran.

But in the days following the attack, medical screening determined that some of the U.S. troops who took cover during the attack were suffering from concussion-like symptoms. Last week, 11 U.S. service members were flown from Iraq to U.S. medical facilities in Germany and Kuwait for further evaluation of concussion-like symptoms.

And U.S. defense officials said Tuesday that additional U.S. troops had been flown out of Iraq for closer...
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News video: Trump downplays reported injuries to U.S. troops in Iranian attack

Trump downplays reported injuries to U.S. troops in Iranian attack 01:55

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he did not consider the brain injuries suffered by 11 U.S. service members in Iran's recent attack on a base in Iraq to be serious, as the American military moved more troops out of the region for medical evaluation. Zachary Goelman reports.

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