“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.
“I was there in Paris and the President never said those things,” he wrote. “In fact, he would never even think such vile thoughts because I know from firsthand knowledge that President Trump absolutely loves, respects, and reveres the brave men and women of the United States military. He always has and always will.”
Gidley also referred to the anonymous Atlantic sources as “cowardly.”
“It’s sickening that they would hide in the shadows to knowingly try and hurt the morale of our great military simply for an attack on a political opponent,” he wrote.
Gidley currently works on the Trump 2020 campaign as a National Press Secretary.
One of President Trump’s closest aides, Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino also condemned the story.
“I was with POTUS in France, with Sarah, and have been at his side throughout it all,” he wrote on Twitter. “Complete lies by ‘anonymous sources’ that were ‘dropped’ just as he begins to campaign (and surge). A disgraceful attempt to smear POTUS, 60 days before the Presidential Election! Disgusting!!”
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who has since become a Trump critic,
detailed the trip in his book, The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir and confirmed that rain and bad visibility canceled the trip.
“Marine One’s crew was saying that bad visibility could make it imprudent to chopper to the cemetery. The ceiling was not too low for Marines to fly in combat, but flying POTUS was obviously something very different,” he wrote.
Bolton also explained why a motorcade trip was difficult.
“If a motorcade were necessary, it could take between ninety and a hundred and twenty minutes each way, along roads that were not exactly freeways, posing an unacceptable risk that we could not get the President out of France quickly enough in case of an emergency,” he wrote, describing White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s decision to cancel the trip as “straightforward,” but also “very hard for a Marine like Kelly to recommend.”
Bolton had nothing but derision for the press for suggesting that Trump was lazy or unwilling to make the trip in the rain.
“The press turned canceling the cemetery visit into a story that Trump was afraid of the rain and took glee in pointing out that other world leaders traveled around during the day,” he wrote. “Of course, none of them were the President of the United States, but the press didn’t understand that rules for US Presidents are different from rules for 190 other leaders who don’t command the world’s greatest military forces.”