President Donald Trump is continuing to build tensions between himself and the military, claiming that its leaders "want to do nothing but fight wars" so companies that provide supplies stay "happy" while defending himself against The Atlantic's bombshell report that he called American soldiers who died in World War I "losers" and "suckers."
Trump denied the report, which has since had details confirmed by other media outlets, during a White House press conference Monday, calling it a "hoax." He added, "I'm not saying the military's in love with me. The soldiers are," before taking aim at military leadership. "The top people in the Pentagon probably aren't because they want to do nothing but fight wars so all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy." He added, "Some people don't like to come home, some people like to continue to spend money. One cold-hearted globalist betrayal after another, that's what it was."
Trump has fought to defend himself against the allegations made in The Atlantic report, which said Trump canceled a 2018 visit to a Paris cemetery in which a number of American soldiers from World War I were buried after losing their lives in battle because he didn't believe it was important. At the time, the White House publicly proclaimed the cancellation was due to weather.
The Atlantic reported that Trump had said the cemetery was "filled with losers," and said on the same trip that U.S. Marines who died during the war were "suckers." The publication also reported that Trump had called Sen. John McCain, a fellow Republican who was held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, a "loser" after McCain's death of brain cancer in 2018.
While Trump denied calling McCain a loser in the wake of the report, he has done so publicly, even tweeting about it in 2015. "I like people who weren't captured," Trump said of soldiers at an Iowa summit during his presidential campaign that year. "I don't like losers." He later tweeted out a link to a story in which he was quoted saying just that.
McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, tweeted after The Atlantic story published, "I just got through two years without my Dad a few days ago. The loss is still incredibly painful and raw. No one is more acutely aware of how vile and disgusting Trump has been to my family, it is still hard to understand - America knows who this man is." The View host added Trump's comments about her father "never stops being incredibly painful, triggering, and it rips off new layers of grief that wreak havoc on my life." She concluded, "I wouldn't wish any of it on my worst enemy. I truly pray for peace for my family, our grief, and for this country."