John Bolton, who is no fan of President Donald Trump, published statements in his memoir that appear to contradict inflammatory statements recently published in The Atlantic which claimed that the president had called troops "losers."
A Trump hit piece from The Atlantic claimed that the president had referred to American troops who died in battle as "losers" and "suckers," but it has since been widely discredited. The Atlantic story substantiates these claims with anonymous sources.
In an interview with The New York Times, Bolton stated that he didn't hear Trump say these things. "I didn’t hear that," Mr. Bolton said in an interview. "I'm not saying he didn’t say them later in the day or another time but I was there for that discussion."
The Atlantic claimed that "Trump rejected the idea of the visit [to the cemetery] because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain," adding that Trump questioned why he should go to a cemetery filled with losers. Bolton's memoir, The Room Where It Happened, was originally published in late June of this year, making statements that run counter to these inflammatory remarks.
Bolton stated in his book: "Marine One's crew was saying that bad visibility could make it imprudent [for the president] to chopper to the cemetery," adding that the idea of driving was just not viable.
The Daily Wire reported that The Atlantic's story has been strongly disputed by "at least five witnesses who were with the president that day and say that the story is nothing short of a fabrication."
The Atlantic claimed: "When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that 'the helicopter couldn't fly' and that the Secret Service wouldn't drive him there. Neither claim was true."
The Atlantic went on to make these claims: "Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, 'Why should I go to that cemetery? It's filled with losers." In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as 'suckers' for getting killed."
Jordan Karem took to Twitter, announcing that The Atlantic's piece was "100% false," noting that he was with the president that day and adding that "the president was greatly disappointed when told we couldn’t fly there. He was incredibly eager to honor our Fallen Heroes."
Emails allegedly from officials from that day "state that the reason that Trump did not attend the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial was, in fact, due to bad weather," the Daily Wire reported.
A total of four officials within the Trump administration who were with the president that day have heavily disputed the claim made in The Atlantic's hit piece, as has Trump.
Explaining why the sources are unnamed in the hit piece, Atlantic editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg said that they feared being ratio'd on Twitter: