First lady Melania Trump is pushing back against the false Atlantic piece, calling the story “not true” and labeled the article as “activism” rather than journalism for publishing “anonymous sources” that claims her husband, President Trump made disparage remarks about fallen soldiers and canceled a trip to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in 2018.
“The Atlantic story is not true,” Melania tweeted. “It has become a very dangerous time when anonymous sources are believed above all else, & no one knows their motivation. This is not journalism — It is activism. And it is a disservice to the people of our great nation.”
.@TheAtlantic story is not true. It has become a very dangerous time when anonymous sources are believed above all else, & no one knows their motivation. This is not journalism – It is activism. And it is a disservice to the people of our great nation.— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) September 4, 2020
According to The Atlantic article by its editor in chief, Jeffrey Goldberg that was published Thursday evening, the piece cites our anonymous sources claiming the president referred to marines buried in an American cemetery near Paris as “losers” and canceled a trip to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris, France, in 2018 because he worried his hair would be disheveled by the rain.
“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,” Trump reportedly asked a senior staff ahead of the 2018 planned visit, according to The Atlantic that cited four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion, adding that Trump referred to 1,800 U.S. Marines who were killed at Belleau Wood during World War I as “suckers” for getting killed.
Melania accompanied her husband in 2018 in France and both were scheduled to attend the ceremony visit to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice that ended World War I. According to a readout from the First Lady’s office at the time disputes The Atlantic claim, stating the “inclement weather” made it impossible for Melania and the President to “visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in Belleau, France.
“Due to inclement weather, the First Lady and President were unable to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in Belleau, France,” according to the readout from the First Lady Office. “The cemetery contains the graves of 2,289 American heroes, and inscribed on the walls of the Memorial Chapel are the names of 1,060 missing American Soldiers from the War.”
However, both a NAVY FOIA request regarding the 2018 trip and former National Security advisor John Bolton book where he details the events surrounding the cancellation of the planned event both disputed The Atlantic claim, saying the bad visibility weather made it impossible to chopper the president to Belleau Wood monuments.
Trump has also angrily denied the report, calling the piece “fake news” and a “disgraceful attempt to influence the 2020 Election.”
“What animal would say such a thing?” Trump told reporters late Thursday evening. “And especially since I’ve done more, I think more than almost anybody, to help our military to get the budgets, to get the pay raises for our military. So I just think it’s a horrible thing that they are allowed to write that. We can refute it. We have other people that will refute it.”
“All they are trying to do is influence a presidential election where we’ve gone very high in the polls in the last short period of time, where we’re doing very well, where we’re going to win and they’re going crazy,” Trump added. “This fake press is a disgrace.”
Numerous Trump officials, both current and former allies, as well as disgruntled employees, have quickly come to the president’s defense, tweeting their own recollections of events that disputed the majority of the four anonymous sources the Atlantic reported in its story.