White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Friday claimed that a damning report published in The Atlantic magazine, which said Donald Trump called American troops who died in combat "suckers" and "losers," is false.
"So why would a publication abandon all journalistic integrity and publish this story? It's because the liberal activists at the Atlantic are uninterested in the truth and they are only interested in peddling conspiracy-laden propaganda," McEnany said. "Because here is the one truth, no one, and I mean no one, loves and cares for our service men and women as much as President Donald J. Trump."
After her comments, in which she tried to prove Trump's commitment to American troops and veterans by reading off a list of the things every president does, McEnany stormed off without taking any questions.
Multiple media outlets have confirmed The Atlantic's reporting since it was published on Thursday, including the Washington Post and the Associated Press. The New York Times noted that Trump has called Americans who served in the Vietnam War "dumb" because they didn't get out of serving.
Trump used a diagnosis of bone spurs to avoid the Vietnam-era draft.
Some of the things Trump has since denied saying, such as calling the late Sen. John McCain a "loser," are easy to confirm. Trump publicly called McCain a loser in 2015, saying: "He's not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."
Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Mike Esper didn't deny that Trump made the disparaging remarks about troops killed in battle, saying only: "President Trump has the highest respect and admiration for our nation's military members, veterans and families. That is why he has fought for greater pay and more funding for our armed forces."
Trump often claims he was responsible for giving troops their first pay increase "in more than 10 years," a comment deemed a "pants on fire" lie by Politifact.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Friday was irate about Trump's comments about American troops and veterans, saying in a news conference: "If these statements are true, the president should humbly apologize to every Gold Star mother and father and every Blue Star family that he's denigrated and insulted. Who the heck does he think he is?"
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