On Thursday, The Atlantic released a report from anonymous military sources that President Donald Trump called Americans who die in wars “losers” and “suckers.” The White House has been quick to refute this report, but Trump’s own words from 2015 belie the denial.
In 2015, Trump said on camera that the late Sen. John McCain is “not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” The McCain was a prisoner of war for over five years during the Vietnamese War in rough conditions, beaten and tortured at prison camps.
“The Atlantic Magazine is dying, like most magazines, so they make up a fake story in order to gain some relevance,” Trump said on Twitter on Friday.
He acknowledged that he was “never a big fan of John McCain” but denied that he ever called him a “loser.” Trump swore 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!”
Trump further attempted to take credit for McCain’s funeral by saying that he had to approve the first class funeral and that he did so “without hesitation or complaint.” However, according to three sources in The Atlantic article, Trump told his senior staff that “we’re not going to support that loser’s funeral.” Trump was not invited to the funeral.
Trump had actually called McCain a loser, albeit in the context of losing an election.
The Atlantic story attributed Trump’s cancellation of a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in 2018 was because “he feared his hair would become disheveled.” Fox News countered that the next day, Trump stood outside in the rain at a different cemetery, honoring fallen veterans.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden stated that “If the revelations in today’s Atlantic article are true, then they are yet another marker of how deeply President Trump and I disagree about the role of the President of the United States.”