US President Donald Trump has asked Fox News to fire his national security correspondent after confirming claims he disparaged the military – a bomb that has been harassing him for two days.
Trump was criticized after The Atlantic magazine reported that he called the navies killed in action in World War I “losers” and “suckers” in connection with a visit to France in November 2018 in which he had skipped a visit to an American military cemetery.
Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin said on Saturday that two former administration officials confirmed to her that the president “did not want to drive to honor the American war dead” at the Aisne-Marne cemetery in the outside of Paris, implying that the weather was not a factor.
An official also told him that Trump used the word “suckers” to disparage the military, but in a different context related to the Vietnam War.
“When the president talked about the Vietnam War, he said, ‘It was a stupid war. Anyone who went there was a jerk, ”she said, quoting the anonymous official.
“It was a character flaw of the president. He couldn’t understand why someone would die for his country, it wasn’t worth it, ”the source said.
Trump fiercely defended himself in the wake of The Atlantic story, tweeting and retweeting stories condemning it as “fake news.”
“You work so hard for the military, from completely rebuilding a exhausted mess left by OBiden, to fixing a broken VA and fighting for full-scale military pay raises, then a slimeball reporter , maybe working with disgruntled people, makes up such a horrible accusation, ”an irate Trump tweeted on Saturday.
A day earlier, the US president tweeted: “Jennifer Griffin should be fired for this kind of reporting. Never even called us to comment. @FoxNews is gone! “
You work so hard for the military, from completely rebuilding a exhausted mess left by OBiden, to fixing a broken VA and fighting for full-scale military pay raises, then a slimeball reporter, perhaps working with disgruntled people is such a horrible burden.
– Donald J.Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 5 septembre 2020
According to The Atlantic, in conversation with senior officials on the morning of the visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to this cemetery? It is filled with losers. ”
The official explanation for this missed visit was bad weather.
The usually Trump-friendly Fox News has been criticized for seemingly sidelining Griffin’s reporting in its coverage of the story.
An article published on his website on Saturday was headlined: “Sources dispute claim Trump refused visit to military cemetery for disdain of murdered veterans. ”
Several Griffin colleagues at Fox have publicly defended her on Twitter, with Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger calling her “fair and fearless.”
“I can tell you that my sources are beyond reproach,” Griffin told his network on Saturday. “My sources are not anonymous to me and I doubt they are anonymous to the president. “
Jennifer Griffin has already helped secure the release of her colleagues kidnapped in Gaza.
She has reported on war zones for years and is now one of DC’s most connected journalists.
She embodies what the industry is built on. Truth and responsibility. https://t.co/kcFF5BZhNJ
– Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) 5 septembre 2020
There are few journalists as brilliant, as honest, as well stocked as @JenGriffinFNC… she is one of the best in the business and a truly amazing human being. I am proud to call her colleague and friend. https://t.co/9909dBP0RS
– Jonathan Hunt (@ JonathanHunt007) 5 septembre 2020
Jennifer Griffin is the kind of journalist we all strive to be. She is courageous, intelligent, ethical, fair and a class act. She has earned the trust of viewers throughout a distinguished career and is credible. https://t.co/yVkXMFqXPx
– Bryan Llenas (@BryanLlenas) September 5, 2020
Just before The Atlantic published its story, a poll by the Military Times and the Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families found that only 37.4% of active duty personnel support the candidacy of Trump for re-election, while 43.1% support Joe Biden.
Opponents Democrats and Republicans have used information to attack Trump’s record on the military in news broadcasts and in political ads.
“It breaks your heart,” US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of comments reported in an interview on MSNBC on Sunday.
Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, a Republican, told ABC’s “This Week” that these remarks, if true, were “contemptible.”
Hagel said the reports were “credible” because they were consistent with previous public remarks Trump made to denigrate military personnel, including former US Secretary of Defense James Mattis as well as the late US Senator John McCain.
Trump said on Sunday that the Atlantic report was “disinformation.”
“They will say anything, like their recent lies about me and the military, and hope it stays,” he tweeted, referring to the media and the Democratic Party, which candidate Joe Biden is vying for. the presidency in November.
The Atlantic maintained its report, which cited four anonymous people with first-hand knowledge of the matter and which was later confirmed by several other media outlets.
Bloomberg reported on Sunday that Trump had spent the extra free time in Paris selecting artwork to ship from the US Ambassador’s residence to the White House. The White House did not immediately comment on the Bloomberg report.