President Trump denied a report Thursday night alleging that he had labeled “losers” US Marines killed in World War I and buried in a cemetery outside Paris.
In a series of tweets, the president also said he never referred to the late Senator John McCain as a “loser,” a detail that also appeared in a story published by The Atlantic that Trump described as “fake news.”
“I never called John a loser and swear by whatever or whoever, I should swear I never called our great fallen soldiers anything but HEROES,” the president said on the tweets.
“This is more of a fake news, given through disgusting and jealous failures in a shameful attempt to influence the 2020 election!”
The magazine’s report, which cited four sources firsthand, said Trump made the derogatory comments to the fallen Marines on the morning of a planned visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in 2018.
Trump, who ultimately canceled the visit because of alleged weather concerns, reportedly told senior staff, “Why should I go to this cemetery? It’s full of losers. “
The President is also accused in the report of calling the dead soldiers “fools”.
Three sources also told The Atlantic that when McCain died in August 2018, Trump told his aides, “We will not support this loser’s funeral” and grew angry when the flags were lowered on half the staff.
Trump said Thursday night that he was “never a huge fan” of McCain, but disproved The Atlantic’s report on how he reacted to the death of the former Arizona senator.
“I’ve never been a huge 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 lowering the American flags of our nations and the first class funeral he received from our country had to be approved by me as President, and I did so without hesitation or complaint, ”Trump tweeted.
“On the contrary, I thought it was well deserved. I even sent Air Force One to take his body from Arizona to Washington in a coffin. It was an honor to do so, ”added the President.