Administration

Trump called American war dead in French cemetery ‘losers:’ report

Before a planned visit to honor the American dead at a French cemetery just outside Paris in 2018, President Trump called the U.S. service members who were buried there during World War I “losers,” sources told The Atlantic.

At the time, Trump was expected to arrive at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, but he canceled last minute, stating that due to the rain, the helicopter could not fly to the location and noted that the Secret Service could not drive him. 

However, according to four sources with knowledge of the incident, Trump was reluctant to travel to the cemetery because he was concerned that the rain would dishevel his hair, the Atlantic reported. 

He also did not think it was important to honor the dead there, according to the sources. 

“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,” Trump reportedly told aides before canceling the trip to Belleau, France.

In another conversation Trump reportedly said that the 1,800 marines who lost their lives in the battle of Belleau Wood were “suckers” for getting killed. The president reportedly asked aides about historic details about WWI, including “Who were the good guys in this war?”

Belleau Wood was a significant battle for the Allies during the First World War. There, they held off Germany advancing into France. The American Marine Corps fought there to beat back German forces. 

Trump has previously made controversial comments about veterans. In 2015, before his presidential tenure, Trump said that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a Vietnam veteran who was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, wasn’t a war hero “because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Several staff of the White House and the Trump campaign denied the president made the comments. 

White House spokesperson Alyssa Farah told The Hill the report is false. 

“President Trump holds the military in the highest regard,” Farah added. “He’s demonstrated his commitment to them at every turn: delivering on his promise to give our troops a much needed pay raise, increasing military spending, signing critical veterans reforms, and supporting military spouses. This has no basis in fact.”

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany also weighed in on the report, calling it “garbage,”.  
 
Hogan Gidley, a Trump campaign spokesperson who worked at the White House during the 2018 trip to France, called the claims “disgusting, grotesque, reprehensible lies.”

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden also seized on the news, promising that if he is elected president he ”will ensure that our American heroes know that I will have their back and honor their sacrifice. Always.”

The Democratic National Committee also criticized the president. 

“Donald Trump’s comments about veterans are beyond disgusting—they’re un-American,” Democratic National Committee Spokesperson Chris Hayden said in a statement.

“Not only does Trump have no idea what it means to sacrifice for our country, he has made it clear he has no respect for those who have.”

“The men and women who have given everything to protect our freedoms deserve to be celebrated, not mocked and vilified by the Commander-in-Chief,” he continued. 

Updated 11:35 p.m. 

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden John McCain
See all Hill.TV See all Video