Now that Fox News’ National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin has confirmed Donald Trump’s shocking contempt for U.S. troops, the real question is, what will Fox do with those facts? So far, it's discouraging.
As I previously reported, Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth, a veteran who was once under consideration to head the VA, dismissed The Atlantic’s bombshell reporting during Fox & Friends this morning as “catnip for haters of the president.”
But later today, while Griffin took pains to say she couldn’t confirm “the most salacious allegation,” she essentially confirmed the whole thing.
GRIFFIN: I spoke with two senior U.S. officials, former U.S. officials, who were on the trip to France, one of whom was in the meeting to plan the trip to the cemetery and they confirmed key parts of The Atlantic article. However, neither confirmed the most salacious allegation, that the president described the American war dead at the Aisne-Marne Cemetery as “suckers” and “losers.”
But as Griffin’s further comments revealed, we didn’t need to hear those exact words about the war dead at Aisne-Marne to know that they are exactly the sentiments Trump holds and that he has expressed one way or another.
GRIFFIN: One former Trump administration official told me today, when the president spoke about the Vietnam War, he said, “It was a stupid war. Anyone who went was a sucker.” The president would often say, according to this source, about American veterans, “What’s in it for them? They don’t make any money.” The source said “it was a character flaw of the president. He could not understand why someone would die for their country, not worth it to him.”
Multiple sources say they heard the president say something similar at Arlington National Cemetery, standing in front of General John Kelly’s son Robert’s grave.
Regarding the trip to the French cemetery to mark the end of World War I, according to my source, the president was not in a good mood that day. He questioned why he had to go to two cemeteries, “Why do I have to go to two?”
When asked if the president could have driven to the Aisne-Marne Cemetery, this former official said, “the president drives a lot. The other world leaders drove to the cemeteries. He just didn’t want to go.”
Separately, during a White House planning session for last July’s, the last July 4th parade on the Mall, after seeing the Bastille Day parade in France, President Trump did not want to include in the parade “wounded guys. That’s not a good look. Americans don’t like that,” according to this source, who was present.
My source also said the president just hated John McCain. He always asked, “Why do you see him as a hero?” Two sources confirmed the president did not want the flags lowered after McCain died. But others in the White House ordered them at half-staff. There was a standoff with the Pentagon and then the president relented.
Griffin went on the air with a similar report earlier, on Bill Hemmer Reports.
Yet, after Griffin’s report on the Hemmer show, Greg Gutfeld, cohost of The Five, called The Atlantic report “a hoax” that was “already debunked.” The lower-third banner read, “Totally fake story.”
As Fox's own reporters confirm parts of the Atlantic story, Greg Gutfeld refers to it on air as a "hoax" and a "scam" pic.twitter.com/Fg938GaSyf— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) September 4, 2020
FoxNews.com did its best to ignore the reporting. This is a screenshot from its homepage as I write this.
If you click through to the article, you see this headline: “Sources dispute claim Trump nixed visit to military cemetery over disdain for slain veterans, but back up parts of Atlantic report." The subheading reads, “Sources said they never heard Trump call war dead 'losers' or 'suckers;' other details remain in dispute.”
It’s not until about halfway through the lengthy piece that you see a tweet from Griffin reporting that her source said Trump “just didn’t want to go” the cemetery. It was three, four and five paragraphs afterward that the article mentioned Trump’s reference to those who served in Vietnam as “suckers,” the “what’s in it for them?” comment and his exclusion of wounded soldiers from his military parade, respectively.
You can watch Griffin’s report below, from the September 4, 2020 Special Report.