A new report details multiple instances of Trump trivializing the lives of army persons who have been captured or killed.
President Donald Trump has once again landed himself in a world of hurt after reports of him making disparaging remarks about the US military who have been captured or killed hit the internet. A new report details multiple instances of Trump trivializing the lives of those army persons, including one time in 2018, when he referred to the American war dead at France's Aisne-Marne American Cemetery as "losers" and "suckers." His sordid comments were also confirmed by a senior Defense Department official who had firsthand knowledge of the events and this included the cemetery comments he made in 2018.
Atlantic: When McCain died...Trump told sr staff, according to 3 sources... “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral” ...he became furious...when he saw flags lowered to half-staff. “What the fuck are we doing that for? Guy was a fucking loser.” https://t.co/GhupjYNKCR— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) September 4, 2020
The defense official, who verified the comments made by Trump to the Associated Press, revealed that on the morning of November 10, 2018, the POTUS had declined a visit to the cemetery outside Paris during a meeting following his daily presidential briefing. It was reported that the National Security Council advised against Trump's visit due to the rainy weather as it made helicopter travel to the cemetery quite risky and the Secret Service would not drive him there. Apparently, both claims were untrue, reports The Atlantic. Staffers with the National Security Council said that air travel was unsafe, but they were ready to drive him there. However, the alternative plan was rejected by Trump who feared that his hair would be messed up in the rain.
So, you're receptive to inconvenient truths. They just never quite meet the threshold to be believed. So very convenient. A perfect strategy for keeping a nice shiny conscience.— Salt In Your Wound (@MattD32393529) September 4, 2020
According to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren't authorized to discuss this in public, Trump responded by saying that he doesn't want to visit the cemetery because it was "filled with losers." Thus, the White House chalked up the last minute cancellation to bad weather at the time. In yet another conversation during the trip, Trump referred to the 1,800 Marines who had died in the World War I battle of Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed. On Thursday night, Trump denied the claims made in the Atlantic report before calling it a "terrible magazine."
The Atlantic story is completely false. Absolutely lacks merit. I’ve been by the President’s side. He has always shown the highest respect to our active duty troops and veterans with utmost respect paid to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and those wounded in battle.— Keith Kellogg (@generalkellogg) September 3, 2020
Following his return to Washington from a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, Trump said, "I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes. There is nobody that respects them more. No animal — nobody — what animal would say such a thing?" Then he went on to reiterate the explanation provided by the White House previously, reports The New York Times. "The helicopter could not fly," he emphasized, citing the rainy and foggy weather that day. "The Secret Service told me you can’t do it. ... They would never have been able to get the police and everybody else in line to have a president go through a very crowded, very congested area."
Again, this is 100% false. I was next to @POTUS the whole day! The President was greatly disappointed when told we couldn’t fly there. He was incredibly eager to honor our Fallen Heroes. https://t.co/8YZlWS83I3— Jordan Karem (@JordanKarem1) September 4, 2020
Strategic communications director for the White House Alyssa Farah regarded the allegations as "patently false" and said, "President Trump holds the military in the highest regard. He’s demonstrated his commitment to them at every turn: delivering on his promise to give our troops a much-needed pay raise, increasing military spending, signing critical veterans reforms, and supporting military spouses. These nameless anecdotes have no basis in fact and are offensive fiction."
The official went on to confirm that when Trump was visiting the Arlington Cemetery gravesite of his chief of staff, John Kelly's son, Robert, he said, "I don’t get it. What was in it for them?" Robert was killed in 2010 in Afghanistan.
..Country, had to be approved by me, as President, & I did so without hesitation or complaint. Quite the contrary, I felt it was well deserved. I even sent Air Force One to bring his body, in casket, from Arizona to Washington. It was my honor to do so. Also, I never called..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2020
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden also issued a statement following this. "If the revelations in today’s Atlantic article are true, then they are yet another marker of how deeply President Trump and I disagree about the role of the President of the United States," said Biden, whose son Beau served in Iraq between 2008-2009, according to The Guardian. "Duty, honor, country — those are the values that drive our service members," continued Biden, adding if he is elected president he would "ensure that our American heroes know that I will have their back and honor their sacrifice — always."
The Atlantic also reported that Trump was not in support of the August 2018 funeral of decorated Navy veteran and Republican senator John McCain, who spent many years as a Vietnam prisoner of war, because he was a "loser." Trump had publicly condemned McCain in 2015 saying, "He’s not a war hero" and that "I like people who weren’t captured." The magazine also alleged that Trump referred to former President George HW Bush as a “loser” as he was shot down by the Japanese during his time as a Navy pilot in World War II.
....John a loser and swear on whatever, or whoever, I was asked to swear on, that I never called our great fallen soldiers anything other than HEROES. This is more made up Fake News given by disgusting & jealous failures in a disgraceful attempt to influence the 2020 Election!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2020