As expected, the Biden campaign pounced on an anonymously sourced Atlantic piece from Jeffrey Goldberg last week that maintained President Trump had called some of our veterans "losers." The piece claims that Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018 because, according to people with "firsthand knowledge," the president said that the cemetery was "filled with losers."
Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.
Biden's team grabbed several quotes from the story to use in a new campaign ad, with the message, "Mr. President, if you don’t respect our troops, you can’t lead them."
Mr. President, if you don’t respect our troops, you can’t lead them. pic.twitter.com/hcX9hGgdm5— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 4, 2020
The Trump campaign denounced the ad, informing Biden that he is using "fake quotes from a garbage magazine story based on nothing but anonymous sources." They add that seven officials who were with Trump that day in Paris are on the record refuting it.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley was just as appalled by the ad. As someone who worked closely with President Trump on national security and saw his "tremendous amount of love and respect" for the military, she implored Biden's campaign to remove the ad. You can say she had "firsthand knowledge."
Biden should take this down. All of us who worked with @realDonaldTrump witnessed the tremendous amount of love and respect he has for our military. He was determined to protect them. We had many conversations in NSC meetings about protecting them. #TakeItDown #MilitarySpouse https://t.co/aS8l94tuhi— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) September 5, 2020
President Trump rejected the Atlantic report as a "fake story, written by a magazine that's probably not going to be around much longer."