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Melania Trump defends himself against claims that Donald Trump calls the "loser" of WWI naval heroes.


The White House furiously opposes a politically explosive report the president described as US military heroes "losers" and "fools" killed in battle – and refused a trip to visit US war dead in France because of the rain.

Fox News, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press were among the news outlets all of which backed up Atlantic coverage on Friday.

Melania Trump was the last to deny the extremely harmful report on Friday night, tweeting that it was not true and shaming journalism.

"The Atlantic story is not true," she said.

Melania Trump denied the history of the Atlantic about her husband on Friday night

Melania Trump became the newest White House figure to deny history on Friday night

Melania Trump became the newest White House figure to deny history on Friday night

“It has become a very dangerous time when anonymous sources are believed above everything and nobody knows their motivation.

& # 39; This is not journalism – it is activism. And it is a disservice to the people of our great nation. & # 39;

Her response came when Fox News independently confirmed all the details in the Atlantic's report and their national security correspondent, Jennifer Griffin, appeared on the network to say that her sources had told her this was completely true.

Griffin said she was told that the president had actually decided he did not want to attend the rainy ceremony to commemorate those killed in the US war in France.

"The President drives a lot," Griffin said. The other leaders of the world went to the cemeteries. He just didn't want to go. & # 39;

Two former high-ranking officials also confirmed that he had reduced war deaths.

According to Griffin, one of the former senior Trump administration officials said to her, "When the president spoke about the Vietnam War, he said," It was a stupid war. Everyone who went was a fool. "

Griffin's sources confirmed that they heard Trump say he did not want "wounded" at military parades, adding, "Americans don't like this."

A senior Department of Defense official with firsthand knowledge of the events and a senior Marine Corps officer who was told of Trump's comments confirmed some of the remarks made to The Associated Press, including the 2018 cemetery comments.

The Washington Post also confirmed Atlantic coverage, noting that Jim Mattis, the former Secretary of Defense, and John Kelly, the former chief of staff, failed to respond to requests for comment on Friday.

Other retired Navy generals who worked with them, including General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. and General John R. Allen, also declined to comment.

On Friday night, Trump speculated that Kelly could have been the possible source of the report.

Trump did not definitively claim that Kelly was the source of the report – whatever he claims could have come from fabricated sources.

But he accused the former top aide of badmouthing him.

President Donald Trump attacked former White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly when asked if Kelly could be a source for a blistering Atlantic story that Trump labeled fallen US troops a "loser".

Trump angrily denied a report he called a "loser".

Trump angrily denied a report he called a "loser".

& # 39; This man was totally exhausted. It hasn't even been able to work for the past few months, "Trump said.

& # 39; It couldn't work. He was a tough guy. When he was eaten up in this world, he was no longer able to function. & # 39;

"I told him: John, you will have to go," said Trump, describing Kelly's long departure. & # 39; And now he's going out there with a bad mouth. Now there are people who are jealous. There are people who are upset that they are no longer here. There are people – we did an incredible job, the virus came in and now we have done an incredible job again, "said Trump, his mind wandering on the pandemic.

"I don't know it was him. I didn't see that. I mean, I see" anonymously. "But it could have been a guy like John Kelly – just so you could understand," Trump said.

Kelly was a key figure who appeared twice in history, once in relation to the trip to Belleau Wood in 2018 and once in relation to Trump's 2017 visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.

A former senior government official told the Washington Post that the president frequently made derogatory comments on veterans and soldiers who went missing in action, sometimes referring to them as "losers".

In a report, the president reportedly told senior advisors that he did not understand why the US government put so much emphasis on finding missing soldiers because they did poorly and were caught and deserved what they got.

Jennifer Griffin, Fox News national security correspondent, confirmed the Atlantic story

Jennifer Griffin, Fox News national security correspondent, confirmed the Atlantic story

Sources told Fox News that the Atlantic's report on Trump's remarks was factually correct

Sources told Fox News that the Atlantic's report on Trump's remarks was factually correct

Former White House officials told the news channel that the coverage was true

Former White House officials told the news channel that the coverage was true

President Donald Trump repeated his attack on Atlantic Magazine on Friday.

"Atlantic Magazine is dying, like most magazines, and they're making up a fake story to gain relevance," Trump tweeted. & # 39; History has already been refuted, but that's what we are facing. Just like the fake dossier. You fight and and fight and then people realize it was a total scam! & # 39; Trump continued.

Trump tore open the report when he met with the President of Serbia and the Prime Minister of Kosovo in the White House on Friday.

"It was a terrible thing that someone could say things like that – especially to me because I did more for the military than almost anyone else," said Trump. "Nobody did what I did" for the military, Trump claimed.

Then he brought up former National Security Advisor John Bolton's scrapbook – a book accusing Trump of providing "personal favors" to dictators.

“I hate to look at his book but John Bolton, not a friend of mine, I mean he didn't know too much about what he was doing, he didn't do a good job. But he wrote a book. He talks about this incident and doesn't mention it, "Trump said.

"There is no one to consider the military and especially the people who gave their lives in the military – to me they are heroes," Trump said of Americans dying in the service of the country. “In fact, it's hard to believe how they could do it. And that's what I say. The level of bravery … ”he said.

In addition to the President himself calling the Atlantic story a "lie," the White House communications store has turned to an unlikely source of defense: Bolton, whom Trump has mocked since his memoir.

"He's a liar," Trump said after Bolton published his scrapbook in which the administration was destroyed.

Following the publication of the Atlantic story, the White House press room retweeted a picture of Bolton's book "The Room Where it Happened," in which Bolton said it was bad weather and the special contingencies of presidential travel that led the White House to a plan to discard Trump's cemetery visit in 2018.

The White House's furious backlash against a new Atlantic article in which President Donald Trump reported calling fallen soldiers "losers" included quotes from the anthology of former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Trump called Bolton a "liar" after his book was published

President Trump attacked Atlantic magazine calling his report "fake".

President Trump attacked Atlantic magazine calling his report "fake".

Trump was said to have visited the cemetery near Belleau Wood on the 100th anniversary, a cemetery where Marines hold a special place.

"The press turned the cemetery visit cancellation into a story in which Trump was afraid of the rain and happily pointed out that other world leaders were traveling around during the day," wrote Bolton. "Of course, none of them were the President of the United States, but the press failed to understand that the rules for US presidents are different from the rules for 190 other leaders who do not command the largest armed forces in the world."

Bolton wrote that Marine One's crew said it was "unwise" to fly by helicopter because of the weather and the trip could take 90 minutes at a time.

The Atlantic piece sees it much harder: "Trump rejected the idea of ​​the visit because he feared that his hair would be disheveled in the rain and because he did not consider it important to honor American war dead, so four people with knowledge at first Hand over the discussion that day, ”wrote author Jeffrey Goldberg.

Brian Morganstern, assistant director of communications for the White House, retweeted the passage from the book, as did Alyssa Farah, director of communications for the White House.

Farah also called the article "offensive and obviously wrong".

Another White House press secretary, Judd Deere, has beaten people who contradicted the information in the article.

“Has anyone noticed that there are now four people with firsthand knowledge who deny Atlantean history? This corresponds to the publications of four anonymous sources. Will The Atlantic stand by their false anonymous reporting or listen to those who have been there? & # 39;

White House officials distributed Bolton's book, which contradicts key elements of the account of the story

White House officials distributed Bolton's book, which contradicts key elements of the account of the story

A White House official retweeted a picture of internal documents showing a view of only 1 mile on the day Trump's Marine One helicopter flight was scrubbed

A White House official retweeted a picture of internal documents showing a view of only 1 mile on the day Trump's Marine One helicopter flight was scrubbed

French President Emmanuel Macron (C) attends the ceasefire commemorations marking the end of World War I on November 11, 2017 near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron (C) attends the ceasefire commemorations marking the end of World War I on November 11, 2017 near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also took advantage of the fact on Friday that the Trump administration had named sources defending him while the Atlantic only had anonymous sources.

She made the media over the report by quoting a number of presidential events and photo ops with troops – including one with a Hero Military Dog and a recent event with top generation vets during a thunderstorm.

McEnany blew up Atlantic Magazine for his breathtaking report, which included reports that Trump skipped a visit to a fabled military cemetery because he wanted to stay out of the rain.

McEnany garnered new comments from officials reporting to Trump, including former White House Secretary and Advisor to President Derek Lyons.

"He was extremely disappointed that no arrangements could be made to bring him to the construction site and that the trip had been canceled," she quoted Lyon as saying.

House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany blew up the media after President Trump called fallen US troops "losers" and avoided a visit to a historic cemetery

House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany blew up the media after President Trump called fallen US troops "losers" and avoided a visit to a historic cemetery

A senior Defense Department official with first-hand knowledge of the events and a senior Marine Corps officer who was reported confirmed the reports – "including the cemetery incident" – to the Associated Press.

"This is more of a fake news, given through disgusting and jealous failures in a shameful attempt to influence the 2020 election!" Trump tweeted on Thursday.

Trump raged on Thursday after his return from a speech in Pennsylvania: "I would be willing to swear by anything I never said about our fallen heroes."

“There is no one who respects them more. No animal – nobody – which animal would say such a thing? & # 39; Trump added.

The Joe Biden campaign ran with the story and blew up Trump in a conference call on Friday.

"I would take my wheelchair and titanium legs over Donald Trump's alleged bone spur every day," said Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Who lost her legs in a plane crash in Iraq. She was referring to Trump's stay in Vietnam due to bone spur.

"It is time for this man to leave office," she added.

"His soul cannot imagine integrity and honor," said Gold Star father Khizr Khan, whose son Humayun Khan was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2004 and whose Democratic Congress speech led to an extensive back and forth with Trump. "His soul is that of a coward," said Khan.

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who was released from prison, tweeted that the article about the Atlantic was "correct".

"I testified," Trump claimed, it was due to a bone spur. When I asked for medical records, he didn't give me any and said there was no surgery. He concluded, "You think I'm stupid, I didn't go to Vietnam."

The report, released on Atlantic Thursday, cited four different military sources, and Trump claims he canceled a visit to America's Aisne-Marne cemetery near Paris in November 2018 because he feared the rain might damage his hair to be disheveled.

Speaking to senior executives prior to the planned visit, Trump reportedly asked helpers, “Why should I go to this cemetery? It's full of losers. & # 39;

During the same trip, the President reportedly later referred to the 1,800+ Marines who lost their lives in the Battle of Belleau Wood, France, as "idiots" for being killed.

However, Trump emphatically rejected the report on Thursday evening, calling it "a shameful situation" by a "terrible magazine".

& # 39; It's a total lie. It's false news. It's a shame, and frankly it's a shame on your job, "Trump said.

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Andrews Air Force Base after attending a rally at Andrews Air Force Base in Latrobe, Pa. On Thursday, September 3, 2020

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Andrews Air Force Base after attending a rally at Andrews Air Force Base in Latrobe, Pa. On Thursday, September 3, 2020

Trump vehemently denied claims, first reported in the Atlantic, that he described the American war dead at the Aisne-Marne American cemetery (above) in France in 2018 as "losers" and "fools".

Trump vehemently denied claims, first reported in the Atlantic, that he described the American war dead at the Aisne-Marne American cemetery (above) in France in 2018 as "losers" and "fools".

The president's alleged comments are in stark contrast to Trump's public role as a self-proclaimed advocate of the military and its veterans.

A source described for firsthand views of the president said Trump "does not see heroism in battle". Other sources said Trump was deeply concerned about dying or being disfigured, and that fear manifests as disgust for those who have suffered.

The day of the planned visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery on November 10, 2018 also marked the 243rd birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps.

“Who were the good guys in this war?

Trump on the First World War

The Battle of Belleau Wood in World War I, which lasted 20 days in June 1918 and ended in a clear defeat for the German armed forces, was a crucial moment in World War I for the Marine Corps.

But Trump allegedly asked helpers on the same trip: "Who were the good guys in this war?" He also said he did not understand why the United States would intervene on the Allied side, the Atlantic reported.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Trump said he was "willing to swear by anything" that he never said anything derogatory "about our fallen heroes."

“There is no one who respects them more. No animal – nobody – which animal would say such a thing? & # 39;

He also wanted to go to the cemetery in France but said he could not do so because of heavy rains in Paris and that US intelligence would not allow him to drive a motorcade there.

& # 39; The helicopter couldn't fly. The reason it couldn't fly because it was raining as hard as I had ever seen it. And on top of that it was very, very foggy, ”said Trump on Thursday.

He added that staff were trying to arrange a motorcade but doing so would have meant driving through busy parts of Paris.

“The Secret Service told me you couldn't do it. I said I have to do it. They said you can't do it, ”said Trump.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also opposed the report, saying, "It's sad to see the depths people will go to in the run-up to a presidential campaign to try to smear someone."

Trump was supposed to join John Kelly to pay his respects to Kelly's son's grave and to comfort the families of other fallen service members at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day 2017 (above). However, Trump reportedly turned to Kelly and said, “I don't get it. What's in it for you? & # 39;

Trump was supposed to join John Kelly to pay his respects to Kelly's son's grave and to comfort the families of other fallen service members at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day 2017 (above). However, Trump reportedly turned to Kelly and said, “I don't get it. What's in it for you? & # 39;

The graves are pictured in the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in Belleau on November 10, 2018

The graves are pictured in the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in Belleau on November 10, 2018

In another report, which the Atlantic set out in detail, the president told senior advisors that he did not understand why the US government was putting so much emphasis on finding soldiers who went missing in action for performing badly and were caught and deserved what they got, a source said.

The president allegedly said those who served in the Vietnam War are also "losers" because they couldn't evade the draft. Trump received medical postponement from Vietnam for alleged bone spurs.

Speaking to then Chief of Staff John Kelly, Trump reportedly complained bitterly that he did not understand why John McCain, imprisoned and tortured in Vietnam, was so revered.

"Isn't he a loser?" Trump asked about the four sources.

Trump previously publicly mocked McCain's legacy as a war hero. Speaking in the 2016 Iowa presidential campaign, Trump said, “He's not a war hero. I like people who haven't been captured. & # 39;

At the same time, Trump said, "I don't like losers," referring to McCain, who lost the 2008 presidential election to Barack Obama.

& # 39; I supported him. He lost. He let us down. But he lost. That's why I've never liked him so much after that, because I don't like losers, ”he said.

The officer in charge of the Marine Corps and the Atlantic, citing first-hand sources, reported that Trump said he did not want to support Republican Senator John McCain's funeral in August 2018.

The Atlantic reported that Trump was also upset about half-pole flags for McCain, saying, “What the hell are we doing this for? Guy was a bloody loser. & # 39;

Trump admitted Thursday that he was "never a fan" of McCain and disagreed with him, but said he still respects him and approves of anything to do with his "top notch triple-A funeral" without hesitating because "I thought he deserved it".

The magazine said Trump was also referring to former President George H.W. Bush as a "loser" because he was shot down by the Japanese as a naval pilot in World War II.

Speaking to then Chief of Staff John Kelly (see above), Trump reportedly complained bitterly that he did not understand why John McCain, who was imprisoned and tortured in Vietnam, was so revered

Speaking to then Chief of Staff John Kelly (see above), Trump reportedly complained bitterly that he did not understand why John McCain, who was imprisoned and tortured in Vietnam, was so revered

Trump previously publicly mocked McCain's legacy as a war hero. Speaking in the 2016 Iowa presidential campaign, Trump said, “He's not a war hero. I like people who haven't been captured. & # 39;

John McCain seen above

Trump previously publicly mocked McCain's legacy as a war hero. Speaking in the 2016 Iowa presidential campaign, Trump said, “He's not a war hero. I like people who haven't been captured. & # 39;

The Atlantic also describes another exchange between Trump and Kelly on Memorial Day 2017 at the grave of Kelly's son Robert, who died in Afghanistan in 2010 at the age of 29.

Trump was supposed to join Kelly in paying his respects to Robert's grave and comforting the families of other fallen service members.

However, Trump reportedly turned to Kelly at his son's grave and said, “I don't get it. What's in it for you? & # 39;

Defense officials also confirmed to AP that Trump made the remarks.

One of Kelly's friends, who is a four-star general, told the Atlantic, “(Trump) cannot imagine the idea of ​​doing anything for anyone other than himself. He just thinks that anyone who does something when there is no direct personal gain is a sucker. There is no money to serve the nation.

Trump cannot imagine someone else's pain. So he would say this to the father of a fallen marine on Memorial Day in the cemetery where he is buried, ”the source continued.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Thursday, "If the revelations in today's Atlantic article are true, then they are another indicator of how deeply President Trump and I disagree on the role of the President of the United States."

"Duty, honor, country – these are the values ​​that drive our service members," he said in a statement Thursday evening, adding that if he is elected president, "I will make sure our American heroes know that I am theirs Back and. " honor their sacrifice – always. & # 39;

Biden's son Beau served in Iraq in 2008-09.

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