Pentagon Chief Comes Out in Defense of Trump After Accusation of Military Insult


Yet another high-ranking official close to President Donald Trump defending the president following a report which claimed he once spoke ill of fallen soldiers.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper went on the record Friday in defending the president from a report in The Atlantic magazine, which claimed via anonymous sources that Trump once referred to American soldiers who died in war as “losers.”

The Thursday report from The Atlantic said Trump refused to appear at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, France, in 2018 over weather concerns.

“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,” the report claimed Trump said, further alleging that he called fallen Marines “suckers” for being killed in combat.

The Atlantic also said that Trump disparaged the late Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

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In a statement Friday, Esper pointed to Trump’s longtime support for active and retired members of the armed forces, as well as for their families.

“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,” the Pentagon chief said, according to Reuters.

Esper joins numerous current and former officials who have defended Trump following The Atlantic’s publication of its report.

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who is no Trump ally, was among those who took issue with the report.

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“I didn’t hear that,” Bolton told The New York Times, referring to the remarks that The Atlantic alleged Trump made about fallen soldiers.

“I’m not saying he didn’t say them later in the day or another time, but I was there for that discussion,” Bolton added.

Trump also strongly pushed back on the report.

“I was never a big fan of John McCain, disagreed with him on many things including ridiculous endless wars and the lack of success he had in dealing with the VA and our great Vets, but the lowering of our Nations American Flags, and the first class funeral he was given by our Country, had to be approved by me, as President, & I did so without hesitation or complaint,” Trump tweeted Thursday.

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“Quite the contrary, I felt it was well deserved. I even sent Air Force One to bring his body, in casket, from Arizona to Washington. It was my honor to do so.”

He added that he never called McCain a “loser” and would “swear on whatever, or whoever, I was asked to swear on” that he never called “our great fallen soldiers anything other than HEROES.

“This is more made up Fake News given by disgusting & jealous failures in a disgraceful attempt to influence the 2020 Election!” the president concluded.

Trump then challenged The Atlantic in a separate post, connecting the report to other outlets which have pushed stories or narratives which later turned out to baseless.

“The Atlantic Magazine is dying, like most magazines, so they make up a fake story in order to gain some relevance,” he wrote. “Story already refuted, but this is what we are up against. Just like the Fake Dossier. You fight and and fight, and then people realize it was a total fraud!”

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.