SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has called President Donald Trump "a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others" in response to Trump's comment Monday that former President Barack Obama and other commanders in chief "didn't make calls" to families of fallen soldiers.
Former Obama staffers and a spokesman for former President George W. Bush pushed back on Trump's comments. The White House press secretary said that Trump wasn't criticizing his predecessors.
Popovich has been an outspoken critic of Trump, but tells The Nation magazine that Trump's comments Monday were "beyond the pale" and "as low as it gets." According to Dave Zirin, sports editor for the Nation, Popovich called him up and said "please just let me talk, and please make sure this is on the record.”
Here's the full text of the comments Popovich made to Zirin:
“I’ve been amazed and disappointed by so much of what this president had said, and his approach to running this country, which seems to be one of just a never ending divisiveness. But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families are so beyond the pale, I almost don’t have the words.
“This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner—and to lie about how previous presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers—is as low as it gets. We have a pathological liar in the White House, unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this president should be ashamed, because they know better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.”