President Donald Trump is calling for a Fox News reporter to be fired after she confirmed some details of a bombshell story that said he disparaged veterans. The Atlantic sparked huge controversy after it published a story Thursday alleging that Trump repeatedly belittled fallen military members. One part of the story claims the president referred to American World War I veterans buried in France’s Aisne-Marne American Cemetery as “suckers” and “losers.” The Associated Press and the Washington Post later confirmed aspects of the story and Fox News national security reporter Jennifer Griffin wrote a Twitter thread and also went on the network to lay out how she had confirmed several claims in the piece, although not the specific allegations of what the president allegedly said about those buried in the French cemetery. But she did confirm with two former senior officials that he did not want to drive to honor those buried in the cemetery outside Paris.
Griffin said she confirmed Trump didn’t think highly of those who served in the Vietnam War. “When the President spoke about the Vietnam War, he said, ‘It was a stupid war. Anyone who went was a sucker’,” her source said. The source added that Trump was confused about why anyone would join the service: “What’s in it for them? They don’t make any money.” She also claims the president said that the inclusion of “wounded guys” in a military parade was “not a good look” because “Americans don’t like that.” Griffin also reported Trump did not want flags to be lowered when Sen. John McCain died but later relented amid insistence from other officials.
Trump was evidently really angry about the claims and took to Twitter a few hours later to share an article from Breitbart that alleged Griffin “Did Not Confirm ‘Most Salacious‘ Part of Atlantic Story.” Trump wrote late Friday that Griffin “should be fired for this kind of reporting,” alleging she never called the White House for comment. “@FoxNews is gone,” he added. Melania Trump also joined her husband in denying the story, a rare instance in which the first lady got involved in political issues. “This is not journalism - It is activism,” she tweeted. “And it is a disservice to the people of our great nation.”
For more of Slate’s news coverage, subscribe to What Next on Apple Podcasts or listen below.
Support work like this for just $1
Slate is covering the stories that matter to you. Become a Slate Plus member to support our work. Your first month is only $1.