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© 2022 by Daniel R. Street



Not even close.


In 2018, President Trump canceled a visit to the Aines-Marne American Cemetery near Paris, France, because the weather would mess up his hair and called the American war dead buried there and elsewhere “suckers” and “losers.”

Who Pushed the Fake News?

On September 3, 2020, The Atlantic published an article entitled, “Trump: Americans Who Died in War are “Losers” and “Suckers.” The article reports on comments which President Trump supposedly made two years before in 2018 during a visit to Europe. See here:

The Atlantic article, which was (of course) based on four anonymous “people with firsthand knowledge” claimed the official story about the 2018 visit to Aines-Marne American Cemetery being canceled due to weather was not true. The Atlantic claimed President Trump actually refused to isit the cemetery because “he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain” and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead. The article claims President Trump referred to the American war dead in the cemetery as “losers” and to 1,800 marines who died at Belleau Wood as “suckers.” See here.

Numerous Fake News Media outlets reported the story.

As is often the case, the original anonymous report was supposedly quickly “confirmed” by other Fake News Media through their own anonymous reports.

The Associated Press ran an article the same day claiming its own anonymous sources confirmed The Atlantic report in an article entitled, “Report: Trump disparaged US war dead as ‘losers’ and ‘suckers’.” See here. The AP claimed an anonymous “senior Defense Department official” and a “senior Marine Corps officer” confirmed the report.

The Washington Post published its own article the following day (September 4, 2020) entitled, “Trump said U.S. soldiers injured and killed in war were ‘losers,’ magazine reports.” See here. As “confirmation” of The Atlantic’s report, the WAPO article quoted an anonymous “unnamed former senior administration official” who claimed President Trump would refer to veterans and soldiers as “losers.”

The Guardian published its story on the issue the following day, September 4, 2020, in an article entitled, “Trump called American war dead ‘suckers’ and ‘losers’ report claims.” See here.

NBC San Diego, on September 4, 2020, outdid itself and actually sought out veterans to ask their thoughts on President Trump’s alleged comments. See “Local Veterans Respond to Trump’s Comments Calling War Dead ‘Losers,’ ‘Suckers.” See here:

Of course, Democrat politicians, like then Democrat Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), herself a double amputee and veteran, had to chime in and disparage President Trump. See The Guardian.


President Trump did not visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018 because poor visibility due to the weather made transporting the President by helicopter on Marine One unsafe and the distance of 90 to 120 minutes each way on the roadways made getting the President out of France quickly too difficult in the case of an emergency, according to the President’s former National Security Advisor John Bolton and multiple other sources.

Additionally, virtually every single person who was with President Trump that day confirmed he did not ever make any such disparaging comments about American veterans (that day or any other), as is demonstrated below.

Nevertheless, the fact that genuinely lays The Atlantic story bare as pure Fake News is the very next day, November 11, 2018, nearly two years before The Atlantic wrote this despicable article, President Trump spoke at Suresnes American Cemetery in the rain – – and refused an umbrella. The video of this speech may be seen at C-Span.

If President Trump refused to go to a cemetery on November 10, 2018, because American war dead were “suckers” and “losers” and because he might muss his hair, would he give a 10 minute speech standing in the rain (without an umbrella) at yet another cemetery where American war dead were laid to rest the very next day? Of course not.


You may recall, former National Security Advisor John Bolton was decidedly unhappy after President Trump dismissed him. So, John Bolton is no friend to President Trump. Bolton

wrote a memoir about his time in the Trump Administration and attacked President Trump in the book, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir published in 2020. BBC News published an article outlining the “Ten biggest claims” from Bolton’s book. See here. Anyway, the point is John Bolton was hostile to President Trump when Bolton published his book in 2020 (and remains hostile still).

In his book, Bolton wrote about the cancellation of the trip to the American cemeteries and monuments during the trip to Europe in 2018. Bolton wrote:

“The weather was bad, and Kelly and I spoke about whether to travel as planned to the Chateau-Theirry Belleau Wood monuments and nearby American cemeteries where many US World War I dead were buried.

Marine One’s crew was saying that bad visibility could make it imprudent to chopper to the cemetery. The ceiling was not too low for Marines to fly in combat, but flying POTUS was obviously something very different. If a motorcade was necessary, it could take between ninety and a hundred and twenty minutes each way, along roads that were not exactly freeways, posing an unacceptable risk that we could not get the President out of France quickly enough in case of an emergency. It was a straightforward decision to cancel the visit but very hard for a Marine like Kelly to recommend, having originally been the one to suggest Belleau Wood . . . Trump agreed, and it was decided that others would drive to the cemetery instead.”

(The references to “Kelly” are to former Trump Administration Chief of Staff, General John Kelly.)

A good article outlining how John Bolton’s book, which was actually published before The Atlantic hit piece, debunks The Atlantic’s claims was published on September 4, 2020, with the title, “Trump-Hater John Bolton Debunks Anonymous Atlantic Hit Piece On Trump’s Veterans Record.” See The Federalist: (This article includes the language from Bolton’s book, cited above.)

Official documents obtained from the United States Navy, through the Freedom of Information Act, by Jason Leopold, an investigative reporter at Buzz Feed News confirmed the Navy canceled the trip to Aisne-Marne Cemetery due to rain. Leopold posted this to his TwitterTM on September 4, 2020. See American Thinker, “The nefarious purpose behind The Atlantic’s ‘Trump and the military hoax,” September 5, 2020:

The Washington Examiner published an article on September 3, 2020, including on the record statements from White House officials denying claims in The Atlantic hit piece. The article included a redacted U.S. Marine Corps email confirming the trip to the cemetery was cancelled due to bad weather. See here:

Numerous Trump Administration officials who were actually with President Trump the day the trip to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery was cancelled in 2018 confirmed the President was not happy about the cancellation and that President Trump never said anything disparaging about American veterans or American war dead (not on that day or any other).

Stephen Miller, a senior advisor to President Trump, was with the President on this trip and was quoted in the article, “The President deeply wanted to attend the memorial event in question and was deeply displeased by the bad weather call” and called The Atlantic’s story a “despicable lie.” See here.

Trump Administration Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino confirmed he was with the President and that the trip was canceled due to weather. He further confirmed President Trump made no such disparaging comments about American veterans and called The Atlantic story “100% lies.” See Breitbart.

Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was also with President Trump that day in France and confirmed The Atlantic story is “. . . total BS. I was actually there and one of the people part of the discussion – this never happened.” She went on to state she was “disgusted” by the attack on President Trump. See American Thinker:

Another member of the Administration, Jordan Karem, was present that day in France and confirmed the story was not true. He commented on TwitterTM “Again, this is 100% false. I was next to the president the whole day!” See here.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellog was Vice President Mike Pence’s national security advisor at the time. He posted to his TwitterTM account on September 3, 2020 and confirmed “The Atlantic story is completely false. Absolutely lacks merit. I’ve been by the President’s side. He has always shown the highest respect to our active duty troops and veterans with utmost respect paid to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and those wounded in battle.” See Twitter.

The United States Ambassador to France, Jamie McCourt, was also with President Trump that day in France and confirmed the trip to the cemetery was cancelled due to weather and that

President Trump “. . . has never denigrated any member of the U.S. military or anyone in service to our country. And he certainly did not that day, either.” See Breitbart, September 7, 2020.

Former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Zach Fuentes informed the President of cancellation of the trip and confirmed the trip was cancelled due to weather. He also confirmed the President did not call any veterans or war dead losers. See here.

In addition, then U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, also confirmed President Trump never used such language to describe the American military or veterans and stated “I’m a veteran too. I care deeply about these young men and women. I watched the president honor them in every situation that I have been with him.” See Fox News.

First Lady Melania Trump weighed in on the issue stating, “The Atlantic story is not true. It has become a very dangerous time when anonymous sources are believed above all else and no one knows their motivation.” See Spectator World.

Former counsel to President Trump, Johnny DeStefano also disputed The Atlantic story, stating, “I was on this trip. The Atlantic bit is not true. Period.” See here.

Staff secretary Derek Lyons was with President Trump on the morning the cemetery trip was canceled. He too disputed the story and confirmed he never heard President Trump “. . . utter a disparaging remark, of any kind, about our troops.” See here.

Not only did former National Security Advisor John Bolton debunk the article in his book (before the ridiculous nonsense was published by The Atlantic), but after the Fake News story broke nearly two years later, Bolton denied it stating, “I didn’t hear either of those comments or anything resembling them. I was there at the point in time that morning when it was decided that he would not go. It was an entirely weather-related decision and, I thought, the proper thing to do.” See here.

A wonderful article about this particular piece of Fake News is the Spectator World article referenced above. The article is entitled, “How the Atlantic twisted the truth,” by Deroy Murdock and was published on September 7, 2020, a few days after The Atlantic hit piece. It is worth a read. See here:

Commentary: This Fake News story follows the typical Fake News pattern. A Fake News peddler publishes a story based on anonymous sources. Other Fake News outlets supposedly “confirm” the story with their own anonymous sources. Then Fake News media and Democrat politicians parade around all over the Country acting like the story is true. When the verifiable facts demonstrate the story is complete hogwash (as in this case where independent witnesses, weather reports and government documents confirm the weather was poor and the trip to the cemetery was canceled due to weather, while eyewitness after eyewitness confirm the “suckers” and “losers” quote is not true), the Fake News outlet “stands by its reporting.”

As mentioned in a story about former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort in the Fake News about Trump series, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) wrote at length about the misuse and abuse of anonymous sources by American media. See here. As FAIR noted, the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics requires journalists to “identify sources whenever feasible” and that journalists must “always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity.” The Society’s “Ethics Committee Position Papers, Anonymous Sources,” discusses these issues at length. See here.

Keep in mind this hit piece ran after multiple anonymously sourced Fake News stories about President Trump over a period of several years were debunked and proven to be untrue. Also, this particular piece of Fake News ran about 60 days before the 2020 Presidential Election. This story is more than Fake News. It is a political, tabloid-style hit piece which damaged President Trump’s re-election campaign. That is Fake News of the lowest order.

Daniel R. Street Monroe, Louisiana