Biblical and Constitutional Politics
“Losers” and “Suckers”?
By Gary F. Zeolla
When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in [November] 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.
Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed (Atlantic).
The Evidence and Counter-Evidence
The above is from an article in The Atlantic on September 3, 2020. Given this event happened almost two years previously, why was it released at this time? The answer could be that Trump just held a very successful rally in my home area of southwestern PA, in Latrobe, at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport (named after the golfing great and Latrobe native).
As reported in Volume Two of my trilogy Dems Cannot Beat Trump, So They Impeach Trump, due to the Coronavirus, Trump took to holding his rallies outdoors, at airports, to lessen the possibility of the spread of the virus. But there were still thousands at that rally, and Trump spoke for over an hour and a half. Conservative commentator Dan Bongino said it was one of Trump’s “Top Five” best speeches. And it was excellent. As a result, this article was published in The Atlantic later that night, so as to take the news cycle away from that rally and as a “September surprise” 60 days before the upcoming election.
As for the substance of the report, “The report cited anonymous sources. Trump has flatly denied its assertions” (Trib. Western). I state in my Impeach trilogy, I put little trust in anonymously sourced claims, and so it is with this claim. FLOTUS put it well:
Melania Trump @FLOTUS Sep 4, 2020
@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.
Moreover, several people who were on that trip have come out publicly and said they did not hear Trump say anything of this sort. Among those are former Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, former presidential personal aide Jordan Karem, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton.
The White House vigorously denied the report, and several officials who accompanied Trump on his trip to Europe in 2018 denied that the president had ever said anything like that. Public documents also support the idea that the president’s visit was canceled due to weather, not because the president worried about his hair (Breitbart).
That last name is important—John Bolton! The Trump-critic whose then forthcoming book at the time of the impeachment was said to provide evidence against Trump but whom Dems never bothered to subpoena in the House but then screamed needed to testify in the Senate trial, as discussed at length in my Impeach trilogy.
But with Bolton’s book now published, we know Bolton mentions this trip in his book, but he reports Trump saying nothing of this sort. But if he had heard such said by Trump, you can be sure he would have included it in his book. In fact, he said that if he had heard Trump say such, he would have made that trip an entire chapter. But as it was, it was just two-pages. And in them, he confirmed that the visit to the cemetery was in fact cancelled due to weather concerns:
John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser who has broken with him and called him unfit for office, said he was on the trip in question and never heard Mr. Trump make those remarks. “I didn’t hear that,” Mr. Bolton said in an interview. “I’m not saying he didn’t say them later in the day or another time, but I was there for that discussion.” …
Mr. Bolton said he was in the room at the ambassador’s residence when Mr. Trump arrived and Mr. Kelly told him that the helicopter trip had to be canceled. A two-hour motorcade would have put him too far away from Air Force One and the most capable communications array a president needs in case of an emergency, per usual protocol, Mr. Bolton said. “It was a straight weather call,” he said (NYT).
The facts are, Marine One could not fly due to heavy rain and fog. Trump could have taken a motorcade. But it would have been a two-hour trip each way. The Secret Service was very leery about such a long road trip. It would be difficult to ensure the President was protected the entire way, especially since some of it would be on two lane dirt roads. Also, it is not good for the President to be that long away from Air Force One if an emergency were to happen and the President needed the resources of Air Force One. As such, it was the Secret Services’ call, and they recommended against the visit.
All that said, this was yet one more attempt to disparage the President, with little evidence and no firsthand named proof, just like with the entire impeachment effort. But it was interesting that Bolton’s disdain for the President is the President’s best defense here. Again, you can be sure if this incident were true, Bolton would have included it in his book. The fact that he did not is strong evidence it just did not happen.
Joe Biden’s Rush to Judgment
However, that did not stop Dem presidential candidate Joe Biden from coming out and blasting Trump for the comments. He did preface his comments with, “If these statements are true,” but then he spoke at length in an angry manner as if assuming the report was true:
Biden stressed that Trump “reportedly” made the comments, but said he ultimately believes the allegations against him, considering what “we’ve heard from his own mouth.”
“It’s disgusting, and it affirms what most of us believe to be true: That Donald Trump is not fit to do the job of president, to be the commander-in-chief,” Biden said. “Who the heck does he think he is?” (Daily).
Speaking as if the report is true, when he knows it just might not be, is the very rush to judgment I decry throughout my Impeach trilogy and in my book Tearing the USA Apart in regard to Dems and the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh and in regard to President Obama rushing to judgment on several high-profile law enforcement cases.
Joe followed in the footsteps of his former boss, Barack Obama, in that regard, rushing to judgment on a high-profile law enforcement case himself, that of Jacob Blake, that occurred in late August 2020 (see Joe Biden in Pittsburgh). And now he is doing it with President Trump, just as most Dems are.
But the facts are, there is little evidence to support these allegations and much exculpatory evidence against them, just as was the case the throughout the impeachment and with Kavanaugh.
The following comments by a southwestern PA veteran sums up the situation well:
Tom Abraham, 77, a Vietnam veteran from Unity [Township] who served as a captain with the Army Airborne Rangers, doesn’t believe the allegations.
“I think that’s a despicable frame-up they’re trying to use against Trump,” he said. “I don’t think he would say that.”
Abraham noted he initially was unhappy with Trump because he considers him a “draft dodger.” The New York Times has reported Trump received five draft deferments during the Vietnam War — four because of his status as a college student and another because of bone spurs in his heels.
“My personal feeling is that Trump did avoid the draft,” Abraham said. “I think he’s going out of his way to make up for it now. I think he is genuinely doing everything he can to help veterans” (Trib. Western).
That “everything he can to help veterans” is summed up in a statement by the White House:
“This report is false,” White House communications director Alyssa Farah told NBC News. “President Trump holds the military in the highest regard. He’s demonstrated his commitment to them at every turn: delivering on his promise to give our troops a much-needed pay raise, increasing military spending, signing critical veterans reforms, and supporting military spouses. This has no basis in fact” (Washington).
The above is adapted from a new section I just added to the final chapter of my forthcoming book Dems Cannot Beat Trump, So They Impeach Trump: Volume Three. That chapter will provide updates like this one to important impeachment related events that have occurred since the impeachment ended back in early February of this year (2020). Volumes One and Two are already available, and I hope to have Volume Three available sometime next month (October 2020).
Atlantic, The. Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers.’
Breitbart. John Bolton Rejects Atlantic Story: ‘I Was There’; ‘I Didn’t Hear That.’
Daily News. Reprinted in MSM. ‘It’s disgusting’: Biden blasts Trump for allegedly calling U.S. war dead ’suckers,’ as president points fingers at John Kelly.
Fox News. Sources dispute claim Trump nixed visit to military cemetery over disdain for slain veterans, but back up parts of Atlantic report.
Hot Air. Did Trump Refuse To Visit War Cemeteries Because Soldiers Were “Losers” And “Suckers”? Not Really … According To John Bolton.
Law Enforcement Today. John Bolton shoots down Atlantic story saying Trump called soldiers ‘losers’: ‘I was there’; ‘I didn’t hear that.’
New York Times. Trump Faces Uproar Over Reported Remarks Disparaging Fallen Soldiers.
Trib Live. Report: Trump disparaged U.S. war dead as ‘losers,’ ‘suckers.’
Trib Live. Western Pa. veterans divided by report Trump disparaged military.
Washington Examiner. White House says claims that Trump called dead soldiers and marines ‘losers’ and ‘suckers’ are false.
“Losers” and “Suckers”? Copyright © 2020 by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).
Cannot Beat Trump, So They Impeach Trump
HJC Hearings and Pre-Senate Trial Events (Mid-November 2019 to Mid-January 2020)
This second volume of this three volume set continues the discussion about the impeachment proceedings in the US House. It covers the public hearings before the House Judiciary Committee and events that occurred up until the impeachment trial in the Senate. It also directly answers a question the author has often been asked—how can the author, as a conservative Christian, support such a “crude” person as President Trump?
The above article was posted on this website September 6, 2020.
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