US President Donald Trump said the report of his alleged remarks about fallen soldiers was a “false story,” while his White House press secretary said liberal activists were only interested in selling conspiratorial propaganda.
“It was a fake story written by a magazine that probably wouldn’t be around for long. But it was a completely fake story that was confirmed by a lot of people who were actually there,” Trump said Friday in the oval to reporters at the White House Office when asked about a news report in The Atlantic magazine.
The report, which sparked a political storm, claims that Trump said, “Americans who died in war are” losers “and” fools “.”
The magazine reported on Trump’s canceled visit to the Aisne-Marne American cemetery near Paris in 2018, saying the president turned down the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would be disheveled in the rain and because he didn’t believed that it was important to honor the American war dead.
Atlantic based its story on four unnamed people who knew firsthand the discussion that day.
Speaking to senior executives on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to this cemetery? It’s full of losers,” the magazine claimed.
In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the 1,800+ Marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “fools” because they were killed, the Atlantic said.
After the news report was published the day before, his political opponents apologized.
However, Trump said it wasn’t necessary as he strongly denied ever saying so.
“Do you have to apologize to service members and veterans?” He was asked.
“No,” said Trump.
“So, it’s a fake story and it’s a shame they get to do it. And very interesting … I hate to look at his book, but John Bolton, not a friend of mine, I thought he was … I didn’t know much about what he was doing, “Trump said.
“He didn’t do a good job, but he wrote a book. And when you read it, he’s talking about this incident and he doesn’t mention it. And honestly, a lot of reporters, even some pretty bad ones, you’ve read that, and.. that was the end of the story, “said Trump.
“… the military and especially people who gave their lives in the military … to me they are heroes,” he said.
Senior officials from his administration, the White House, and others familiar with the event openly came out in support of Trump.
“The history in the Atlantic has been categorically exposed by eyewitnesses and contemporary documents,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at a press conference.
The Atlantic claims that “when President Trump canceled his visit to the Aisne-Marne American cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed the rain for the last minute decision, according to the Atlantic, saying the helicopter could not fly, and the Intelligence wouldn’t do that. ” Drive him there. None of the claims were true, says the Atlantic. That has been exposed, “said McEnany.
“So why should a publication give up journalistic integrity and publish this story? That’s because the Atlantic liberal activists are not interested in the truth and are only interested in selling conspiratorial propaganda,” she said.
“Because there is the one truth here, nobody, and I mean, nobody loves or cares about our service men and women as much as President Donald J Trump,” she added.
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement that if the revelations in the article are true, then they are another indicator of how deeply he and Trump disagree on the role of the President of the United States.
“I have long said that we have many obligations as a nation, but we have only one truly sacred obligation – to prepare and equip those we put in danger, and to care for them and their families, both while on duty and even while they are on duty after they return home, “he said.
House majority leader Steny Hoyer said in a statement that Trump’s words about those who died defending the nation were disgusting and outrageous.
“Never before have I seen a president or publicly elected official so adamantly disparage the sacrifice and service of the fallen heroes of America and those currently serving,” he said.
Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the Atlantic story about Trump was “totally BS.”
“I was actually there and one of the people involved in the discussion … that never happened,” she said.
She said she was sitting in the room when Trump called family members after their sons were killed in action and it was heartbreaking.
“These were some of the moments I saw the president show his heart and show how much he respects the selfless and courageous men and women in our military. I am disgusted by this false attack,” she tweeted.
White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino said he had been with the President in France and stood by him throughout his time.
“Complete lies from” anonymous sources “” dropped “when he started camping (and shooting). A vicious attempt to smear POTUS 60 days before the presidential election! Disgusting!” He said.