Trump is under fire after a report said he called soldiers who died in war 'losers' and 'suckers.'
Donald Trump on Thursday tried to deny a bombshell report from the Atlantic magazine, which said Trump attacked American soldiers who died in World War II as "suckers" for getting killed, and that he didn't want to support the funeral of the late Sen. John McCain, calling the Arizona Republican a "loser."
In a series of three tweets late Thursday night, Trump said:
"I was never a big fan of John McCain, disagreed with him on many things including ridiculous endless wars and the lack of success he had in dealing with the VA and our great Vets, but the lowering of our Nations American Flags, and the first class funeral he was given by our 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 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!"
That lengthy denial is filled with easily debunked lies.
First, Trump said McCain had a "lack of success ... in dealing with the VA."
However, the Veterans Choice health care legislation Trump falsely taken credit for more than 150 times — which allows veterans to get health care at private providers and not just the Department of Veterans Affairs — was actually co-written by McCain and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and signed into law in 2014 by former President Barack Obama.
Trump called McCain a "loser" in 2015, saying of McCain "I don't like losers," and that McCain was not a war hero "because he was captured, okay. I like people that weren't captured."
Trump even promoted his own disparaging comment about McCain in a tweet.
While Trump said he did lower the flags after McCain's death, it took two days — and backlash from veterans' groups — before he did so.
The Atlantic's report contained numerous damning anecdotes about Trump's comments about veterans, including:
- In 2017, Trump visited Arlington National Cemetery with his chief of staff at the time, John Kelly — whose son died at the age of 29 while serving in Afghanistan. While standing near Kelly's son's grave, Trump said to Kelly, "I don't get it. What was in it for them?"
- Trump lied in 2018 about why he did not visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery for United States troops killed in World War I. At the time, Trump said it was because his "helicopter couldn't fly" there. However, the Atlantic reported that Trump didn't want his hair to get ruined in the rain, adding, "Why should I go to that cemetery? It's filled with losers."
- Trump called the late former President George H.W. Bush a "loser" because a plane he was piloting when he served in the Navy in World War II was shot down.
In response to the Atlantic's report of Trump's denigration of military service members, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tweeted: "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."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.