President Donald Trump reasserted his support for fallen American soldiers on Friday after a story in the Atlantic citing anonymous soldiers claimed the president described them as “losers” and “suckers.”
NBC reporter Peter Alexander asked Trump if he would apologize to the families of fallen soldiers and veterans for the reported comments made to the Atlantic.
“It was a totally fake story, and that was confirmed by many people who were actually there.”
The Atlantic story cited anonymous sources who claimed Trump did not want to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery at the site of Battle of Belleau Wood during his visit to Paris in 2018 and that he was worried about his hair in the rain. It also claimed Trump said the cemetery was “filled with losers” and that the Marines who died at Belleau Wood were “suckers” for being killed.
The president commented on the story during an Oval Office meeting at the White House with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovar Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti.
Trump defended his record of supporting the military, boosting spending, fixing Veterans Affairs, and increasing salaries.
“It’s a fake story, and it’s a disgrace that they’re allowed to do it,” he said.
The president referred reporters to the memoir written by his former national security adviser, John Bolton, which included details about the canceled trip to the cemetery due to rain and low visibility.
“I hate to bring up his book, but John Bolton, no friend of mine … he talked about this incident, and he doesn’t mention it,” Trump said.
He reassured Americans that he esteems the fallen members of the military as heroes.
“There’s nobody that considers the military, especially people that have given their lives in the military, to me, they’re heroes. It’s even hard to believe how they could do it … the level of bravery. To me, they are absolute heroes,” he said.