President Donald Trump pointed to former chief of staff John Kelly as a potential anonymous source for a report published by The Atlantic on Sept. 3. The story disclosed insensitive and denigrating comments Trump had previously made about United States military troops and veterans, referring to those who were wounded as “losers” and “suckers.”

Trump also canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris back in 2018, stating that the rain would ruin his hair. On the same trip, Trump called the 1,800 Marines who lost their lives during the 1918 Battle of Belleau Wood, during which America and its allies stopped the German army from advancing toward Paris, as “suckers” for getting killed.

While running for the Republican nomination in 2015, Trump disrespected the late Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), who spent more than five years as a prisoner in Vietnam, stating that “he’s not a war hero.”

And in 2018, at a White House planning meeting for a military parade, Trump asked his staff not to include wounded veterans so as to avoid making spectators feel uncomfortable by interacting with amputees.


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The Atlantic story also cites an incident that occurred on Memorial Day 2017, when Trump visited Arlington National Cemetery with former White House chief of staff, John Kelly. While standing at the grave of Kelly’s son, Robert, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, Trump turned to his father and said, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”

Despite these numerous occasions outlined by The Atlantic, members of the Trump Administration have denied that any such incidents occurred and reiterated the idea that the president honors everyone who serves in the military.

Kelly has yet to deny or confirm the comments Trump made back in 2017.

When asked why Kelly has yet to comment on the report, Trump alluded to the possibility that he could have been one of the anonymous sources providing The Atlantic with information. “I don’t know that it was [Kelly],” Trump said Friday. “It could have been a guy like John Kelly” after stating “he was unable to function” as White House chief of staff, providing reason for him to “go out and badmouth.”

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