sunny.png
Sunday September 20th, 2020 11:11AM

Trump denies calling US war dead 'losers,' 'suckers'

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump defended himself Friday against accusations that he mocked American war dead as his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, intensified efforts to frame the election as a referendum on the president’s character.

The allegations, sourced anonymously in The Atlantic, describe multiple offensive comments by the president toward fallen and captured U.S. service-members, including calling World War I dead at an American military cemetery in France as “losers” and “suckers” in 2018. The reported comments, many of which were confirmed independently by the AP, are shining a fresh light on Trump’s previous public disparaging of American troops and military families and opening a new political vulnerability for the president less than two months from Election Day.

“This is more made up Fake News given by disgusting & jealous failures in a disgraceful attempt to influence the 2020 Election!” Trump tweeted late Thursday, as aides mounted a concerted defense of the president, with Trump’s campaign and allies taking to social media and broadcast interviews to denounce the report.

“I’ve done more for the military than almost anyone else," he added Friday in the Oval Office.

The president was alleged to have made the comments as he was set to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery during a trip to France in Nov. 2018. The White House said the visit was scrubbed because foggy weather made the helicopter trip from Paris too risky and the 90-minute drive deemed infeasible.

Trump, who traveled to Pennsylvania on Thursday, told reporters after he returned to Washington that the Atlantic report was “a disgraceful situation” by a “terrible magazine.”

“I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes,” Trump told the reporters, gathered on the tarmac in the dark. “There is nobody that respects them more. No animal — nobody — what animal would say such a thing?”

On a call with reporters hosted by the Biden campaign Friday, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth lambasted Trump for “belittling the sacrifices of those who have shown more bravery than he’s capable of.”

“Of course he thinks about war selfishly,” Duckworth said of Trump. “He thinks of it as a transactional cost, instead of in human life and American blood spilled, because that’s how he’s viewed his whole life. He doesn’t understand other people’s bravery and courage because he’s never had any of his own.”

Duckworth, a retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel who lost both of her legs in the Iraq War, has been a prominent critic of Trump’s handling of military issues. Knocking Trump for allegedly inventing an injury to avoid serving in the Vietnam War, Duckworth said that she’d “take my wheelchair and my titanium legs over Donald Trump’s supposed bone spurs any day.”

Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who drew national attention after criticizing Trump during the 2016 Democratic National Convention, joined Duckworth on the call and said that Trump’s “life is a testament to selfishness.”

“Words we say are windows into our souls. So when Donald Trump calls anyone who places their lives in service of others a loser, we understand Trump’s soul,” he said. Khan's son, Humayun, was killed in action in Iraq in 2004.

In 2016, Trump responded to the criticism from Khan by claiming he'd made sacrifices of his own and making an Islamophobic attack on Khan's wife, Ghazala Khan, who was wearing a headscarf at the Democratic convention, saying, “She had nothing to say. She probably — maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.”

Biden said 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.”

“Duty, honor, country — those are the values that drive our service members,” Biden said in a statement Thursday night, adding that if he is elected president, “I will ensure that our American heroes know that I will have their back and honor their sacrifice — always.” Biden’s son Beau served in Iraq in 2008-09.

Trump also denied calling the late Arizona Sen. John McCain, a decorated Navy officer who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, a “loser" after his Aug. 2018 death.

Trump acknowledged Thursday he was “never a fan” of McCain and disagreed with him, but said he still respected him and approved everything to do with his “first-class triple-A funeral” without hesitation because “I felt he deserved it.”

In 2015, shortly after launching his presidential candidacy, Trump publicly blasted McCain, saying “He’s not a war hero.” He added, “I like people who weren’t captured.” At the time, Trump also shared a news article on Twitter calling McCain a “loser.”

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 scuttling Trump’s plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That vote shattered what few partisan loyalties bound the two men, and Trump has continued to attack McCain for that vote, even posthumously.

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

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told “Fox & Friends” on Friday that he was with the president for a good part of the trip to France. “I never heard him use the words that are described in that article,” Pompeo said.

Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted that she was part of the discussion about visiting the cemetery. “This never happened. I have sat in the room when our President called family members after their sons were killed in action and it was heart-wrenching. ... I am disgusted by this false attack."

AP writers James LaPorta and Jill Colvin contributed.

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Elections - Political Conventions
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump denies calling US war dead 'losers,' 'suckers'
President Donald Trump is angrily denying a new report claiming he made several disparaging remarks about U_S_ service members who have been captured or killed, including one in 2018 when he described American war dead at a cemetery in France as “losers” and “suckers.”
9:28AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Pastor who served metro Atlanta, North Georgia churches sentenced to 5 years for child molestation
A longtime pastor with metro Atlanta and North Georgia churches was sentenced to five years in prison and another 15 years of probation on child molestation charges.
8:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
Georgia school chief: 'Don't worry' if feds force testing
Georgia's students are likely to have to take state standardized tests this spring, even though state schools Superintendent Richard Woods and Gov. Brian Kemp don't want them to, citing the continuing disruption of the coronavirus pandemic.
6:49AM ( 2 hours ago )
Local/State News
Messi's father tells Spanish league his son is free to leave
Lionel Messi’s father has sent a letter to the Spanish league saying his son is free to leave Barcelona immediately without having to pay the $837 million buyout clause
9:19AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Students, IT workers keep pressure on defiant Belarus leader
Hundreds of demonstrators have rallied again in Belarus’ capital to protest the disputed reelection of the nation’s authoritarian president, while police dispersed university students attempting to show solidarity with peers who were detained earlier in the week
9:16AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Ships, copters fighting fire as tanker drifts near Sri Lanka
Ships and aircraft from Sri Lanka and India are intensified efforts to extinguish an oil tanker fire burning for a second day as officials warn of possible massive environmental damage to Sri Lanka’s coast if the ship leaks or explodes
8:53AM ( 50 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Slain shooting suspect was a regular at Portland protests
Michael Forest Reinoehl, the man believed to have fatally shot a supporter of President Donald Trump following skirmishes between Black Lives Matter protesters and a pro-Trump caravan in Portland, Oregon, was a regular at the demonstrations that have roiled the Northwest city for months
8:07AM ( 1 hour ago )
Macron decries 'Islamic separatism,' defends blasphemy
French President Emmanuel Macron has criticized what he calls “Islamic separatism” in his country and those who seek French citizenship without accepting the “right to commit blasphemy.”
7:13AM ( 2 hours ago )
Search for survivor in Beirut rubble grips grieving nation
Rescue workers have resumed search operations in the rubble of a building that collapsed last month in Beirut’s deadly blast hoping to find a survivor under the debris after a pulsing signal was detected
6:30AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP National News
Asia Today: India adds another 83K, nears 2nd-most in world
The number of people infected with the coronavirus in India rose by another 83,000 and is near Brazil’s total, the second-highest in the world
3:56AM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Senator says Berlusconi admitted to hospital
A senator who is a top aide to Silvio Berlusconi said the former premier was admitted to a Milan hospital early Friday as a precaution to monitor his coronavirus infection
3:34AM ( 6 hours ago )
Asian shares follow Wall Street lower as investors pull back
Asian markets and U.S. futures have fallen after stocks fell sharply on Wall Street, as investors' exuberance faltered after a spate of record highs
3:31AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Report: Trump disparaged US war dead as 'losers,' 'suckers'
A new report details multiple instances of President Donald Trump making disparaging remarks about members of the U_S_ military who have been captured or killed, including referring to the American war dead buried in a cemetery in France as “losers” and “suckers.”
11:54PM ( 9 hours ago )
Judge bars Kanye West from appearing on Arizona’s ballot
A judge has barred Kanye West from appearing on Arizona’s Nov. 3 ballot
11:46PM ( 9 hours ago )
Biden, in Kenosha, says U.S. confronting 'original sin'
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told residents in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that the turmoil their city has experienced following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, could help the nation confront centuries of systemic racism
10:46PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Elections
White House faces skepticism over prospects for a vaccine
Could the U.S. really see a coronavirus vaccine before Election Day
4:35PM ( 17 hours ago )
Biden meets Jacob Blake's family in trip to Wisconsin
Joe Biden met Thursday with the family of Jacob Blake, as the Democratic presidential nominee began a day of events in Wisconsin
4:16PM ( 17 hours ago )
Democrats request Hatch Act probe of Republican convention
Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are seeking an investigation of what they call repeated violations of the federal Hatch Act by members of the Trump administration during last month’s Republican National Convention
4:14PM ( 17 hours ago )
General Presidential Election News
Pastor who served metro Atlanta, North Georgia churches sentenced to 5 years for child molestation
A longtime pastor with metro Atlanta and North Georgia churches was sentenced to five years in prison and another 15 years of probation on child molestation charges.
By Associated Press
8:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
Georgia school chief: 'Don't worry' if feds force testing
Georgia's students are likely to have to take state standardized tests this spring, even though state schools Superintendent Richard Woods and Gov. Brian Kemp don't want them to, citing the continuing disruption of the coronavirus pandemic.
By Associated Press
6:49AM ( 2 hours ago )
Flowery Branch City Council members still unsure about private sub-subdivision
A request to rezone a portion of Flowery Branch’s largest residential neighborhood once again came under question and close scrutiny by the Flowery Branch City Council during its work session Thursday evening.
12:05AM ( 9 hours ago )
Loeffler to Hall County residents: “I am your voice”
United States Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia visited Gainesville Thursday, where she assured residents that she is their “voice” in Congress.
12:00AM ( 9 hours ago )
A Gillsville man is arrested for kidnapping after a domestic dispute
A Gillsville man has been arrested on kidnapping charges after a domestic dispute. Around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, deputies were called to a home on Hawthorn Drive after a 911 call about a man pointing a gun at a woman and three children.
10:00PM ( 11 hours ago )