“What animal would say such a thing?” he asked.
“If people really exist that would have said that, they’re lowlifes and they’re liars,” Trump said. “And I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes. There is nobody that respects that more.”
Several members of the White House team, who were present for the trip, also publicly denounced the story on Twitter.
“The Atlantic story on Donald Trump is total BS,” wrote former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. “I was actually there and one of the people part of the discussion – this never happened.”
Sanders said she was “disgusted” by the attack published in
The Atlantic, recalling the moments that President Trump met with veterans.
“These were some of the moments I witnessed the President show his heart and demonstrate how much he respects the selfless and courageous men and women of our military,” she said.
Jordan Karem, the president’s body man during the trip, also weighed in on Twitter.
“Again, this is 100% false. I was next to the president the whole day!” he wrote. “The President was greatly disappointed when told we couldn’t fly there. He was incredibly eager to honor our Fallen Heroes.”
Senior adviser to the president, Stephen Miller, who was also present for the trip, described the story as a “despicable lie.”
“The president deeply wanted to attend the memorial event in question and was deeply displeased by the bad weather call,” he said in comments to the
Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino also said he was with the president after the trip was canceled due to bad weather.
“There is literally not one thing ‘reported’ from France that is accurate or true, 100% complete lies!” he wrote. “This is a politically motivated hit piece, on the President of the United States, 60 days before a presidential election. A total disgrace!!”
Washington Examiner published an email from Secret Service detailing the decision to cancel the 2018 event.
The Atlantic story also claimed that Trump said that deceased Sen. John McCain was “a fucking loser” and did not want to lower flags to half-staff when he passed away.
But Trump said that he still respected McCain despite their disagreements and approved all of the honors for his funeral.
“I disagreed with John McCain, but I still respected him and I had to approve his funeral as president,” he said.
Trump said he approved the funeral and the plane transporting his body to Washington, DC, for recognition, “without hesitation and without complaint.”
“I felt he deserved it,” Trump said. “I disagreed with him on things and he was a tough guy, and I felt he deserved it.”