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Trump calls dead US soldiers ‘suckers’ and ‘losers’, refuses to support John McCain’s funeral



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President Trump refused to visit a First World War cemetery in France because he said dead US soldiers were “losers” and “suckers”, it has been claimed.

The allegations, first reported in The Atlantic, contain multiple instances of Mr Trump making disparaging remarks about members of the US military who have been captured or killed, and claim that the president refused to attend a service at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France in 2018.

Mr Trump said on Thursday that the story is “totally false.”

The Associated Press said that a senior Defense Department official with knowledge of events and a senior US Marine Corps officer who was told about Mr Trump’s comments confirmed some of the remarks, including the 2018 cemetery comments.

A senior Marine Corps officer and The Atlantic also reported that Mr Trump said he did not want to support the August 2018 funeral of Senator John McCain, a decorated Navy veteran who spent years as a Vietnam prisoner of war, because he was a “loser”.

It was also claimed that Mr Trump was angered that flags were flown at half-mast for McCain, saying: “What the f are we doing that for? Guy was a fing loser.”

Mr Trump posted a long denial on Twitter on Thursday evening, insisting that he would only ever refer to veterans as “heroes”:

Defence officials said Mr Trump made the comments about soldiers as he chose not to visit the cemetery outside Paris during a meeting following his presidential daily briefing on the morning of November 10, 2018.

Staff from the National Security Council and the Secret Service told Mr Trump that rainy weather made helicopter travel to the cemetery risky, but that it would be possible to drive. Mr Trump responded by saying he did not want to visit the cemetery because it was “filled with losers”, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

The White House at the time blamed the cancelled visit on poor weather.

In another conversation on the trip, The Atlantic said, Mr Trump referred to the 1,800 Marines who died in the First World War battle of Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

The defence officials also confirmed to to the AP that Mr Trump on Memorial Day 2017 had gone with his chief of staff, John Kelly, to visit the Arlington Cemetery grave of Mr Kelly’s son, Robert, who was killed in 2010 in Afghanistan, and said to Kelly: “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”

The alleged comments about Senator McCain follow a series of attacks by Mr Trump on the former Republican presidential candidate. In 2015, shortly after launching his presidential candidacy, Mr Trump publicly blasted McCain, saying, “He’s not a war hero”. He added: “I like people who weren’t captured.”

Mr Trump only amplified his criticism of McCain as the Arizona lawmaker grew critical of his acerbic style of politics, culminating in a late-night “no” vote that curtailed Mr Trump’s plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

That vote shattered what few partisan loyalties bound the two men, and Mr Trump has continued to attack McCain for that vote, even posthumously.

The magazine said Mr Trump also referred to former President George HW Bush as a “loser” because he was shot down by the Japanese as a Navy pilot in the Second World War.

Mr Trump emphatically denied the report on Thursday night, calling it “a disgraceful situation” by a “terrible magazine”.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One as they returned to Washington from a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, Mr Trump said: “What animal would say such a thing?”

Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, said: “It’s sad the depths that people will go to during a lead-up to a presidential campaign to try to smear somebody.”

Source: Telegraph



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