Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders rebuked reports Tuesday that President Donald Trump disparaged fallen soldiers and said “those things didn’t happen.”
“I was there that day, I was part of those conversations, and those things didn’t happen,” Sanders told George Stephanopoulos in an interview on “Good Morning America.”
“But not only, George, was I there that day, but I spent more time with the president over two and a half years than just about anybody outside of his family and I saw a president who loves this country, who loves the men and women of our armed forces.”
.@ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Former White House Press Secretary @SarahHuckabee speaks one-on-one with @GStephanopoulos about Pres. Trump’s reported military remarks, her new book detailing her years in the White House and if she plans to run for governor. pic.twitter.com/PSzMFt8mEJ
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 8, 2020
Sanders was responding to a report from The Atlantic that quoted people who spoke “on condition of anonymity.”
Trump allegedly canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018 because he didn’t want to mess up his hair in the rain and didn’t believe it was important to honor the Americans who died at Belleau Wood during World War I, the outlet claimed, citing “four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day.”
“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,” Trump was quoted as saying. The report said he later called the Marines “suckers” for getting killed.
In her own message on Twitter, Sanders said the story was “an insult to journalism.”
“Donald Trump has the greatest amount of respect for the men and women of our armed forces,” she said.
“I’ve traveled all over the world with the president and watched him interact with men and women of our military. I’ve seen him fight to make sure that they have the resources they need.”
The malicious lies about @realDonaldTrump from anonymous sources in the Atlantic are disgusting.
This story is an insult to journalism.
I would know, because I was there-> pic.twitter.com/pt7rDfwr8x
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) September 6, 2020
Stephanopoulos pushed Sanders on why her new book is different from the criticism from other former Trump administration officials like former National Security Advisor John Bolton and former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
“It’s really simple. I think mine is actually the honest account,” Sanders replied.
“You’re looking at people who have left as disgruntled employees, people who tried to push their own agenda.”
In an interview with “The View,” Sanders also refuted The Atlantic report’s claim that Trump was “furious” when flags were lowered in honor of the late Sen. John McCain’s 2018 death and said McCain was a “f—ing loser,” ABC News reported.
She told host Meghan McCain, “There’s no denying the fact that not only did Donald Trump dislike your father, your father disliked the president.”
“I’m not saying that there weren’t some moments that were heated, that were not of the highest level of respect,” Sanders said, “but when it comes to who this president is, at his heart, and how he feels about the men and women of our armed services, I can say for my own experience he has a great level of respect.”
A host of current and former Trump administration officials have strongly pushed back on the accuracy of The Atlantic report.
White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said the report was “false.”
“President Trump holds the military in the highest regard,” Farah said in an emailed statement to The Atlantic.
“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.”
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