The normal thing to do in this situation would be for the person who said something that was taken the wrong way — especially when it is the president of the United States and the aggrieved party has just lost a loved one in uniform — to come back and say something like, “I really didn’t meant it the way you heard it and it pains me to think that I’ve in any way added to your distress. Please accept my apology and deepest condolences.”I don't know why this guy hasn't developed an emotional maturity that most people acquire by the time they're 15. My working theory is that something happened when he went away to military school. But, more and more, you're seeing Republicans like Corker, Ryan, and Bush giving notice that they're getting pretty sick of his...stuff.
If Trump could bring himself to do this, it would, 1) be the right thing to do; 2) instantly drain this controversy of much of its power; 3) win him praise, even from some unexpected quarters. But Trump can never give even a little ground, because any disagreement or criticism instantly becomes personal and the occasion for combat, no matter what the circumstance.
The other day, referring to Trump's take-no-prisoners approach, somebody wrote: "We tried nice guys with McCain and Romney." This is reading way too much into Trump's victory which was an aberration because he was facing a particularly un-liked opponent. And even if it were true that Trump's combativeness helped him win the Presidency, it's become unseemly for a President.