(DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN):
“Who the heck does he think he is?”
Reaction Friday to a report that President Trump referred to Marines buried in an American cemetery near Paris as "losers" and that he declined to visit it during a trip to France because he thought it was unimportant to honor American war dead.
The piece, out this week in The Atlantic magazine, was strongly denied by Trump, who has touted his record helping U.S. veterans.
"It’s a fake story and it’s a disgrace that they’re allowed to do it.”
But his Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden, whose late son Beau served in the military, came out swinging against Trump and his alleged statements.
“The president reportedly said that those who sign up to serve, instead of doing something more lucrative, are suckers. Let me be real clear: when my son was an assistant U.S. attorney and he volunteered to go to Kosovo when the war was going on, as a civilian, he wasn’t a sucker. When my son volunteered and joined the United States military as the attorney general and went to Iraq for a year, won the Bronze Star and other commendations, he wasn’t a sucker. The servicemen and women he served with, particularly those who did not come home, were not losers. If these statements are true, the president should humbly apologize to every Gold Star mother and father and every Blue Star family that he has denigrated and insulted.”
The Atlantic said Trump also rejected the idea of visiting the cemetery – which he was scheduled to do during a 2018 trip to France - because he was concerned the rain that day would mess up his hair.
In an emailed statement, The Atlantic said (quote), "We stand behind our reporting."
As a presidential candidate, Trump disparaged now-deceased Republican Senator John McCain for having been captured during the Vietnam War, saying, “I like people who weren’t captured.”
In response to The Atlantic piece, Trump also said he did not visit the cemetery because the weather that day prevented a helicopter flight.