Former Trump White House National Security Advisor John Bolton, who was fired in 2019 and remains no friend of the president’s, denied The Atlantic’s bombshell report last week supposedly “confirmed” by Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin that alleges Trump disparaged American war heroes buried in France on a 2018 trip.
The piece, authored by The Atlantic’s Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg relying entirely on four anonymous sources, accuses Trump of making a last-minute decision to cancel a presidential visit to the graves of fallen American World War I soldiers at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris, allegedly calling them “suckers” and “losers” for getting killed.
“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,” the anonymous sources claimed Trump said, comments which fly in the face of the president’s characteristic embrace of American military members.
The news was quickly “confirmed” by several outlets presumably speaking with the same secret sources who peddled the story to The Atlantic in an information operation reminiscent of nearly every other media-manufactured scandal that has plagued the administration for the past four years, especially the Russia hoax. As of this writing, not a single source has gone on the record to corroborate the anonymous claims accusing Trump of making such remarks, while more than a dozen have gone on record to refute them. With the exception of former White House chief of staff John Kelly, who told Trump that the trip had been cancelled because of weather and security concerns, every individual who was reportedly in meetings with Trump about the trip has denied on the record The Atlantic’s anonymous account.
One of those White House officials with intimate knowledge of the 2018 events in France was Bolton, who was the president’s national security advisor at the time and had already debunked The Atlantic’s reporting in his own book, where he recounted the circumstances that lead to the cancellation of Trump’s cemetery visit due to inclement weather.
During a Fox News appearance on Monday, Bolton further refuted the anonymous claims that the president made disparaging remarks to avoid participating in a ceremony at the Aisne-Marne cemetery.
“That was simply false,” Bolton said. “I don’t know who told the author that but that was false.”
“You’ve heard the back-and-forth between reporters on this,” Fox News host Martha MacCallum said to Bolton. “Jennifer Griffin came on today and said that she stands by her sources. She says that you were ‘not in the room where it happened’ when this was discussed.”
“She’s just flatly wrong,” Bolton said, who then detailed the timeline of events that culminated in the ultimate decision to scrub the president’s visit over the weather. “I don’t think the affair lasted more than 10 or 15 minutes, and the main issue was whether or not weather conditions permitted the president to go out to the Aisne-Marne cemetery.”