According to The Daily Beast, the US president last year met with various heads of veterans’ organisations who were angered over the appointment of the now-sacked Omarosa Manigault-Newman to handle veterans’ affairs.
They were reportedly joined in the March meeting by administration officials including Stephen Miller, Kellyanne Conway, former press secretary Sean Spicer and Ms Manigault-Newman herself.
During discussions, Mr Trump allegedly angered and confused attendees by derailing a conversation about benefits for injured servicemen by getting into a lengthy argument about a scene from the iconic Vietnam War movie.
Rick Weidman, co-founder of Vietnam Veterans for America, reportedly asked that a wider number of veterans injured by the herbicide Agent Orange receive payment from the government.
Mr Trump claimed it was “taken care of”, according to sources who spoke to news site, puzzling attendees who informed the president there had not been nearly enough progress.
Mr Trump responded by asking if Agent Orange was “that stuff from that movie”, which people in the room quickly came to understand was a reference to a scene in Apocalypse Now in which US attack helicopters assault a Vietnamese village.
The Daily Beast reported various people informed the president the scene showed the US military using napalm, not Agent Orange.
Mr Trump reportedly refused to accept he was wrong. “No, I think it’s that stuff from the movie,” he is quoted as saying. He then polled people in the room over which chemical weapon they thought the scene depicted.
He finally asked for the thoughts of Mr Weidman, who assured him it was napalm, adding he thought the movie did a disservice to Vietnam veterans.
“Well, I think you just didn’t like the movie,” Mr Trump reportedly responded, concluding the two-minute argument.
Mr Weidman refused to go into the details of the meeting, but confirmed Mr Trump “said something where it was clear he was confused by napalm and Agent Orange”.