The story of Trump insulting service members was confirmed by Trump's own chief of staff. Right-wing media are still denying it. (2024)

  • The morning after the article came out, Fox & Friends defended its most important viewer. Ret. Gen. Jack Keane claimed that Trump actually has “reverence for the military.”. Co-host Pete Hegseth complained that it’s “always anonymous sources.” [Media Matters, 9/4/20]

  • Then-chief White House correspondent John Roberts denied the veracity of the report: “To a person, all three of these people have said the president never used the words ‘suckers’ or ‘losers’ to describe U.S. troops who have either died in that war or any other war. Those words were just never used in that meeting when they were discussing whether or not the president would go out there.” [Fox News, The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino, 9/4/20]

  • Right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh claimed that the Atlantic report of Trump disrespecting fallen troops was a plot to distract from “the Pelosi hair salon story.” [Premiere Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 9/4/20]

  • Hegseth claimed that “the leftist media created this story because they need to change the narrative or create a new narrative” and attacked the author, The Atlantic editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg, for being a Democrat. [Fox News, Fox & Friends Saturday, 9/5/20]

  • Fox’s Jeanine Pirro called the claim an “absurdity” and discredited the report for using anonymous sources, despite the fact that the story was confirmed by colleague Jennifer Griffin. [Mediaite, 9/5/20]

  • After Fox’s Jessica Tarlov cited multiple report confirming the Atlantic story including Jennifer Griffin’s, chief political anchor Bret Baier interrupted with “a caveat”: “I agree with you, there are elements of that reporting that Jennifer confirmed from sources, but … there are other elements that appear to be pretty — to push back pretty hard.” [Mediaite, 9/6/20]

  • Immediately after Jennifer Griffin reconfirmed her report, Fox contributor Mike Huckabee vehemently denied that Trump insulted fallen soldiers and accused the anonymous sources of attempting to influence the election: “If these sources are so dang good, trot them out in front of a microphone and a camera. And if they’re not willing to put their name and face in the middle of an election, which they’re trying to influence, then they have no right to be heard. … Until we know that, I think all of this stuff is just a bunch of hogwash.” [Fox News, America’s News Headquarters, 9/7/20]

  • Former The Five co-host Geraldo Rivera called the report “a hit job.” “What the Democrats are doing – and it’s so obvious to me – they can’t attack the economy, so what they’re doing is, they are conjuring up a story that the president called G.I.s losers.” [Fox News, The Five, 9/7/20]

  • Former Fox host Lou Dobbs attacked Fox News’ report confirming the Atlantic article that claimed Trump disrespected military veterans. [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 9/8/20]

  • Fox host Laura Ingraham claimed the Atlantic story corroborated by Jennifer Griffin about Trump insulting troops is “now-debunked.” [Media Matters, 9/8/20]

  • One America News Network correspondent Chanel Rion smeared The Atlantic as “a privately-funded fiction factory for the DNC” and baselessly accused Atlantic editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg of “invent[ing] the story at the behest of Atlantic leadership.” [OANN, Wall to Wall with Greta, 9/9/20]

  • In a phone interview with Trump, Fox News host Sean Hannity touted Trump’s defense policy and gave him an opportunity to deny The Atlantic’s reporting, which he did. “It’s a total lie, it’s total disinformation,” Trump told Hannity, “They made up the story.” [Fox News, Hannity, 9/9/20]

  • On Fox News, former Trump White House press secretary and current Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied Trump’s comments and called the anonymous sources “cowards.” [Fox News, MediaBuzz, 9/13/20]

  • In an op-ed for Newsmax.com, Fox News contributor Deroy Murdock called The Atlantic’s reporting a “disgusting fabrication” and accused the Obama administration of running “a veritable killing field for vets.” “The Atlantic got it perfectly backwards: As 700-plus vets attested in an open letter, President Trump has honored and benefited them and their brothers and sisters in uniform. Meanwhile, Obama-Biden treated America’s veterans like losers and suckers,” Murdock wrote. [Newsmax.com, 9/13/20]

  • In April 2024, Newsmax host Greg Kelly said, “The people who need insults and a little bit of denigrating are actually the generals who made this story up and leaked it to the fake news.” [Newsmax, Greg Kelly Reports, 4/17/24]

  • Ben Shapiro claimed the Atlantic story had been “largely debunked” and “denied by pretty much everybody.” [The Daily Wire, The Ben Shapiro Show, 6/28/24]

  • Anchor Martha MacCallum interrupted Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), who was pointing out that Trump lied about not calling fallen soldiers “suckers and losers.” MacCallum said, “You know he has completely denied. Yeah, he’s completely denied.” [Fox News, The Story, 6/28/24]

The story of Trump insulting service members was confirmed by Trump's own chief of staff. Right-wing media are still denying it. (2024)
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