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Trump tweets again he didn’t call fallen troops ‘losers and suckers’ and attacks anonymous sourcing

President Donald J. Trump visits troops at Bagram Airfield on Thursday, November 28, 2019, in Afghanistan, during a surprise visit to spend Thanksgiving with troops. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
November 25, 2020

President Donald Trump on Wednesday again tweeted his denial of a September report by The Atlantic alleging he referred to U.S. troops as “losers” and “suckers” and declined to visit a cemetery for fallen U.S. troops during a November 2018 visit to France. The Atlantic cited anonymous sources for the alleged comments, and Trump has repeatedly rejected them.

Trump tweeted, “The ‘losers & suckers’ statement on dead military heroes has been proven to be a total fabrication and lie. IT WAS NEVER MADE! The ‘anonymous’ fabricator, who is a major sleaze, went forward with the lie despite 25 strong witnesses to the contrary. Welcome to the roaring 20’s!”

Trump and several current and former members of his administration denied the controversial claims when The Atlantic first reported the story in September citing four anonymous sources. Along with alleging Trump referred to U.S. troops killed in World War I as “suckers” and “losers,” The Atlantic reported claims Trump declined to visit a cemetery during a light rain because he didn’t care about honoring veterans and worried the weather that day would dishevel his hair. The report also claimed Trump asked to exclude amputee veterans from a White House veterans event, allegedly saying “Nobody wants to see that.”

In his initial response to the allegations, Trump tweeted, “The Atlantic Magazine is dying, like most magazines, so they make up a fake story in order to gain some relevance. Story already refuted, but this is what we are up against. Just like the Fake Dossier. You fight and and fight, and then people realize it was a total fraud!”

Within a day of the report, Trump’s campaign provided a list of 21 named officials, including 14 who were with Trump during the 2018 trip, who denied the allegations on the record. Trump’s latest tweet stated 25 witnesses, though it’s unclear who the latest four witnesses are.

Despite no named sources supporting the claims about Trump and the repeated denials from Trump and members of his administration, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and other prominent Democrats criticized Trump for the allegations.

During the first presidential debate between Trump and Biden, Biden invoked his deceased son Beau Biden, who served in the Delaware National Guard, to address Trump’s alleged remarks.

“The way you talk about the military, the way you talk about them be losers and being, and just being suckers. My son was in Iraq. He spent a year there. He got the Bronze Star, he got the Conspicuous Service Medal. He was not a loser,” Biden said. “He was a patriot and the people left behind there were heroes.”

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA), condemned Trump over the alleged remarks in September, saying, “The President’s fundamental misunderstanding of the military and his complete disregard for our service members – calling them ‘losers’ and ‘suckers’ repeatedly – are a disgrace to our nation and prove once again that he is incapable of performing the duties of Commander-in-Chief.”