The White House is describing an anonymously sourced article from The Atlantic as “a disgrace,” claiming that it falsely accuses President Trump of insulting dead soldiers and being ignorant of who fought in World War I.
“Not a soul brave enough to put their name on any of these accusations. That’s because they are false,” White House spokesman Judd Deere tweeted on Thursday.
“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!”
The Atlantic’s article, written by editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg, cites four unnamed sources in saying that Trump claimed the Aisne-Marne American cemetery near Paris was “filled with losers.” Trump had canceled a visit to the cemetery in 2018, prompting widespread criticism in the media at the time. The president claimed his helicopter couldn’t fly in the rain and that the Secret Service would drive him there — claims that Goldberg says are false.
“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,” Goldberg wrote.
Goldberg also claimed Trump labeled as losers Marines who died at the Battle of Belleau Wood during World War I. Referring to the war, Trump allegedly asked: “Who were the good guys in this war?”
“He also said that he didn’t understand why the United States would intervene on the side of the Allies,” Goldberg said, framing the remarks as “contempt” for American servicemembers. He pointed to how then-candidate Trump bashed former Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2015 for getting captured by enemy forces during the Vietnam War. “I like people who weren’t captured,” he said.
President Trump later posted a series of tweets about McCain and saying he never called fallen soldiers anything other than “HEROES.”
White House Communications Director Alyssa Farrah called the report “offensive & patently false,” highlighting a number measures the president took in support of the military.
“On that Atlantic piece: It’s offensive & patently false. @realDonaldTrump holds the military in the highest regard. He’s demonstrated his commitment to the force: delivering a pay raise to our troops, increasing military $$, signing vets reform & supporting military spouses,” Farrah tweeted.
She added: “I’ve watched @realDonaldTrump solemnly sign letters to the families of fallen heroes. He’s honored their memories by doing more than any modern president to get us OUT of endless wars.”
Goldberg didn’t reply to criticisms via Twitter. In a statement provided to Fox News, Adrienne LaFrance, executive editor of The Atlantic, said: “We stand by our reporting.”