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President Trump denies he called fallen soldiers ‘losers’ and ‘suckers.’ Here’s what to know

The Atlantic reported Thursday that Trump once called fallen soldiers ‘losers’

SHARE President Trump denies he called fallen soldiers ‘losers’ and ‘suckers.’ Here’s what to know
President Donald Trump addresses a crowd at a campaign event at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020, in Latrobe, Pa.

President Donald Trump addresses a crowd at a campaign event at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020, in Latrobe, Pa.

Keith Srakocic, Associated Press

President Donald Trump has come under fire for allegedly calling American soldiers who died in World War I “suckers” and “losers” in a magazine article, allegations he flatly denies.

  • Trump said Friday (via The New York Times): “If people really exist that would have said that, they’re lowlifes and they’re liars. And I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes. There is nobody that respects them more. What animal would say such a thing?”
  • “To think that I would make statements negative to our military and fallen heroes when nobody has done what I’ve done,” for the U.S. armed forces, Trump added. “It’s a total lie … It’s a disgrace.”

What happened:

On Thursday, The Atlantic reported that Trump decided against a visit to a cemetery of American soldiers in France back in 2018 because he was worried about what the rain would do to his hair.

And, according to the report, Trump didn’t see honoring the dead as important.

Here’s what The Atlantic reported:

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the schedule

d visit, Trump said, ‘Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.’ In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as ‘suckers’ for getting killed.

Reaction:

The White House denied The Atlantic story about Trump’s alleged comments. White House spokesperson Alyssa Farah told The Hill that the story is false.

  • “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. This has no basis in fact.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called the report “garbage.”

“I see President @realDonaldTrump consistently express his heartfelt gratitude and absolute admiration for our brave men and women in uniform. Just yesterday, he was truly humbled to be in the presence of our courageous World War II veterans. This Atlantic story is garbage!”

White House spokesman Judd Deere tweeted on Thursday about the story, calling it a “disgrace.”

  • “Not a soul brave enough to put their name on any of these accusations. That’s because they are false. Just another anonymously sourced story meant to tear down a Commander-in-Chief who loves our military and has delivered on the promises he’s made. What a disgrace!”

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is running against Trump in the 2020 election, slammed Trump in his response.

“Here’s my promise to you: If I have the honor of serving as the next commander in chief, I will ensure that our American heroes know that I will have their back and honor their sacrifice. Always.”

A history of comments

  • Trump has made controversial comments about veterans in the past, according to The Hill. In 2015, Trump said then-Sen. John McCain wasn’t a war hero “because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

A little cold water

  • Former national security adviser John Bolton’s book on the Trump administration talked about the event’s cancellation, saying the bad weather made it impossible for a chopper to make it to the cemetery, according to the Floridian Press.