Unlike the witnesses dug up by The Atlantic, who cast aspersions on President Trump from beneath the veil of anonymity, as many as ten witnesses have come forward – on the record and with their names proudly out in the open – to say that the story’s main contention is nothing but hogwash.
The story, which relied on unnamed sources to claim that Trump had called fallen soldiers “losers” and “suckers” for laying their life down for their country, was published Friday to shockwaves of viral interest. But if you take the word of the witnesses who are actually going on record, there may be a whole lot of fiction in the original report.
“As you all can probably imagine, I have seen more than my share of outrageous (and false) attacks on the President over the last few years. But this whole injured soldiers thing really, really pushes the envelope,” said former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
“So, just to be clear: These claims are simply outrageous,” he continued. “I never heard the President disparage our war dead or wounded. In fact, the exact opposite is true. I was with him at the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion in Normandy. As we flew over the beaches by helicopter he was outwardly in awe of the accomplishments of the Allied Forces, and the sacrifices they paid.”
Mulvaney was far from alone in disputing the story. He has been joined this week by White House Staff Secretary Derek Lyons, who said in a statement: “I was with the president the morning after the scheduled visit. He was extremely disappointed that arrangements could not be made to get him to the site and that the trip had been cancelled. I have worked with the president for his entire administration. One of my responsibilities is working with him on the many letters he signs to the families of our nation’s fallen heroes. In all my time at the White House. I have never heard him utter a disparaging remark of any kind about our troops. In my view, he holds the brave men and women of our armed forces in the highest regard.”
Also defending Trump was former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Walsh, who said, “I can attest it to the fact that there was a bad weather called in France and that the helicopters were unable to safely make the flight. Overall, the president’s support and respect for our American troops past and present is unquestionable.”
The most powerful refutation, though, came from former national security adviser John Bolton. There is no love lost between Bolton and Trump, as evidenced by the long book Bolton wrote criticizing the president’s foreign policy approach.
But Bolton said he’d never seen Trump say anything of the kind about the troops – not ours and not the ones who died fighting the Nazis in France.
“I didn’t hear either of those comments or anything even resembling them. I was there at the point in time that morning when it was decided that he would not go Aisne-Marne cemetery,” Bolton told Fox News. “He decided not to do it because of John Kelly’s recommendation. It was entirely a weather-related decision, and I thought the proper thing to do. I never heard he made that kind of comment about another country’s forces either, no.”
What do you think? Is Trump a callous coward who has carefully hidden his disdain for the military for the last five years?
Or is this just more fake news garbage from a magazine that gave up all pretenses of self-respect when Trump won the election?
Seems pretty obvious to us.