Fact check: Did President Trump make disparaging remarks about the military?

Trump - Hannity Phone Interview

Statement in Question: The Atlantic online magazine published a story claiming President Trump had made disparaging remarks about soldiers who died in a war, claiming he said they were “losers” and “suckers”.

Background/Context:
President Trump made a trip to Paris in 2018 with then national Security Advisor John Bolton among a number of other people. The Atlantic alleges the president made the derogatory statement during that trip. Notably the piece was written by known Trump hater Jeffrey Goldberg edit-in-chief for the Atlantic, a known Trump-hating magazine. Like many on the left, Goldberg is clearly willing to jettison any journalistic integrity to quote “anonymous sources” and publish what has accurately been described as a “hit piece” in an apparent attempt to erode the strong support Trump enjoys among the military. The timing is also curious; the event happened two years ago, but it is just being released a few weeks before the election.

True or False: False

Degree of Certainty:
Very High

Reasons:

1. Though the story has widely been quoted as having four anonymous sources making the claim, a critic of the hit piece counts 35 anonymous sources referenced in the piece. Why are they all anonymous sources? Why is not a single “source”  willing to go on the record? This is highly suspicious. With not a single witnesses willing to sign their name to the accusation and be questioned on the incident, the clearly fabricated piece fails journalistic standards, would not be accepted in a court of law, is further is underhanded and un-American.  The piece smacks of desperation to inflict damage an immensely popular president
2. President Trump strongly denies the accusation. (Below)
3. John Bolton, now no longer a supporter of the president, makes what amounts to an admission against interest by confirming what the President has said – that the event did not happen.
4. Press Secretary Kayleigh Macenany reports having a list of 19 identified people, who have gone on record stating that they were there and the incident didn’t happen. (below)
5. After that, two others came forward (below) stating they were there and the incident never happened.
6. The timing is very suspect. The event happened, supposedly, two years ago. Why is it just coming out now?
7. Biden is seen touting his good judgment, and then calls soldiers “stupid bastards” and “a dull bunch.” Whichever you think is worse – his bad judgment or his insult of the troops, why is this of no interest to the main stream media? Once again, it appears the MSM is not interested in all news, only news (whether true or false) that furthers their agenda to work against the president.

Echoes and References: 

President Trump denies the story calling it “disinformation.” Hannity outlines some of Trump accomplishments for the military.
“Hannity” 9/9/20

Press Secretary Kayleigh Macenany reports 19 have gone on recording stating the story is false.
Fox News 9/8/20

 

Others denying, including two additional people who add their name to Kayleigh’s list, bringing the total to 21.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders denies the Atlantic story:

Sara Huckabee Sanders Denies the Atlantic Story

Dan Scavino denies the Atlantic story:

 

Nick Ayers adds his name to the list of 19, and denies the story:
Nick Ayers Denies Atlantic Story

Brian Morgenstern adds his name to the list denying the story, bring the count to 21:

Brian Morgenstern Denies Atlantic Story

Article listing all 21 people refuting the Atlantic story:
21 OFFICIALS, 14 FROM PARIS TRIP, NOW ON RECORD REFUTING ANONYMOUS SOURCES IN FALSE THE ATLANTIC STORY 
donaldjtrum.com 9/3/2020

If the Atlantic were really concerned with disparaging remarks against the military, why didn’t they report Biden’s remarks calling them “stupid bastards”?

Biden calls troops "Stupid Bastards"

 

Here is an excellent summary of the matter by Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow

 

Concluding Comments:  This is a clear cut case of a journalist with a axe to grind but no story to report who decides to simply make one up.  With no real witnesses he must resort to “anonymous sources.”  Unfortunately for Goldberg, there are plenty of people still willing to stand up for the truth – even those who don’t support Trump like Bolton. If Goldberg were really concerned for the honor of the military, why wait 2 years? Why no stories about Biden’s cavalier remarks?


Updates:
10/24/2020 – Certainty
10/24/2020 – List of 21 people refuting the story
11/15/2020 – Title

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