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With the help of first lady Melania Trump, who rarely strays into the political realm, President Donald Trump doubled down Friday on his emphatic, witness-backed assertion that he’s never called fallen U.S. service members “losers.”
In a stunning tweet posted early Friday evening, the first lady said straight-up that The Atlantic’s story “is not true” — it’s nothing but left-wing “activism.”
.@TheAtlantic story is not true. It has become a very dangerous time when anonymous sources are believed above all else, & no one knows their motivation. This is not journalism – It is activism. And it is a disservice to the people of our great nation.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) September 4, 2020
During a White House briefing not too long after the first lady posted her tweet, the president called the allegations him a “hoax.”
“There is nobody that feels more strongly about our soldiers, our wounded warriors, our soldiers that died in war than I do,” he said.
“It’s a hoax, just like the fake dossier was a hoax. Just like the Russia, Russia, Russia was a hoax. It was a total hoax, no collusion, just like so many other things. It’s a hoax.”
Trump in Atlantic story: “It’s a hoax. Just like the fake dossier was a hoax. Just like the Russia-Russia-Russia was a hoax. It was a total hoax.”
“You’ll hear more of these things, totally unrelated, as we get closer to election.”pic.twitter.com/rAQ0RFRmfi
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 4, 2020
He also suggested that former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly may have been behind the anonymously made claims highlighted by The Atlantic.
Asked about Kelly’s refusal to comment on and deny any aspects of the claims, including those related specifically to encounters involving him and the president, Trump accused him of being “jealous” and upset” over his ouster last year.
“I know John Kelly, he was with me, didn’t do a good job, had no temperament. And ultimately he was petered out. He was exhausted. This man was totally exhausted. He wasn’t even able to function in the last number of months. He was not able to function. He was sort of a tough guy. By the time he got eaten up in this world, it’s a different world than he was used to. He was unable to function,” he said.
“And I told him, ‘John, you’re going to have to go. Please give me a letter of resignation.’ And we did that. And now he goes out and badmouths. Now there are people that are jealous. There are people that are upset that they’re not here anymore.”
President Trump on former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly: “Didn’t do a good job. Had no temperament…He was not able to function…He was unable to handle the pressure of this job.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 4, 2020
It’s certainly possible that Kelly may have been behind the allegations made to The Atlantic. In fact, one of the allegations pertains to a conversion that only two people could possibly be aware of — the former chief of staff and the president.
“On Memorial Day 2017, Trump visited Arlington National Cemetery, a short drive from the White House. He was accompanied on this visit by John Kelly, who was then the secretary of homeland security,” The Atlantic’s report reads.
“Trump was meant, on this visit, to join John Kelly in paying respects at his son’s grave, and to comfort the families of other fallen service members. But according to sources with knowledge of this visit, Trump, while standing by Robert Kelly’s grave, turned directly to his father and said, ‘I don’t get it. What was in it for them?'”
Trump has denied that this conversation ever occurred, whereas Kelly has simply refused to comment on the matter.
Over at Fox News, however, national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin has claimed in a lengthy tweet thread that two former senior Trump administration officials, one of whom could very well be Kelly, have confirmed The Atlantic’s reporting.
The beginning of the thread may be seen below:
Two former sr Trump admin officials confirm .@JeffreyGoldberg reporting that President Trump disparaged veterans and did not want to drive to honor American war dead at Aisne-Marne Cemetery outside Paris.
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) September 4, 2020
Griffin’s reporting infuriated the president, who responded in a tweet late Friday demanding she be fired and noting that she’d never “even called us for comment.”
Jennifer Griffin of Fox News Did Not Confirm ‘Most Salacious‘ Part of Atlantic Story https://t.co/rUpbSWhHac via @BreitbartNews All refuted by many witnesses. Jennifer Griffin should be fired for this kind of reporting. Never even called us for comment. @FoxNews is gone!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2020
Who do the American people believe, though?
To hear the far-left media tell it, every veteran is America has sided against Trump:
The Washington Post: “‘The last full measure of his disgrace’: Veterans scorn Trump over report that he calls fallen soldiers ‘losers’”
Newsweek: “Veterans Group Ad Says Trump Has Betrayed Military, ‘Emboldens the Enemy'”
Business Insider: “‘This is who he is’: Founder of veterans group blasts Trump over report he called dead US troops ‘losers'”
HuffPost: “Republican Military Veterans Turn On Trump In New Attack Ad Airing On Fox News”
But not reported by any mainstream media outlet, including Fox News, is that nearly 700 veterans have issued an open letter pushing back against the media’s anonymous sourced “lies.”
“Recent baseless media attacks against President Trump from anonymous sources are just another example of the depths to which the President’s opponents are willing to descend to divide the nation and meddle in this election,” the veterans wrote.
“Anyone who knows President Trump has seen his love and reverence for our military and veterans. That is why we, veterans from every generation, are writing today to reaffirm our support for President Trump.”
They concluded, “The American people have learned to discount lies spewed by anonymous sources and paraded around by a biased media bent on destroying the President. President Trump’s tireless efforts to strengthen and support the military community are a part of his indisputable record.”
“He has done more for our nation’s service members and veterans than any previous administration. The veteran community firmly rejects these lies from the mainstream media, and we stand by our Commander-in-Chief, now, and on Election Day.”
View the letter below, but don’t expect to hear a peep about it from the mainstream press:
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