Trump falsely claimed he never called John McCain a ‘loser.’ Just check his Twitter account.

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President Donald Trump on Thursday evening denied having ever called the late Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona a “loser,” despite having previously tweeted out a news article that described himself doing exactly that.

Trump and his senior officials attempted to deflect from the blowback from an article published in The Atlantic that quoted several officials who claimed the president made disparaging remarks about US service members — including those who died in battle and those who went on to become notable politicians.

According to The Atlantic, Trump reportedly referred to McCain and former President George H.W. Bush, both of whom served in the US Navy as fighter pilots, as “losers” for being shot down by the enemy.

The former Arizona senator’s plane was shot down during the Vietnam War, leading to his capture and torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese forces for more than five years. Bush’s plane was shot down by Japanese forces during World War II. Trump himself received a deferral for service in the war, claiming he had bone spurs in his feet.

After McCain died from his fight with brain cancer in 2018, Trump was angry when the late senator received half-staff flag honors, The Atlantic also reported. Trump told his staff of McCain: “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,” according to the report.

Trump took to Twitter to deny the claims made in The Atlantic. He admitted he “was never a big fan” of McCain and that he “disagreed with him on many things.” But despite their differences, Trump claimed, he had “never called John a loser.”

I was never a big fan of John McCain, disagreed with him on many things including ridiculous endless wars and the lack of success he had in dealing with the VA and our great Vets, but the lowering of our Nations American Flags, and the first class funeral he was given by our….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2020

..Country, had to be approved by me, as President, & I did so without hesitation or complaint. Quite the contrary, I felt it was well deserved. I even sent Air Force One to bring his body, in casket, from Arizona to Washington. It was my honor to do so. Also, I never called..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2020

….John a loser and swear on whatever, or whoever, I was asked to swear on, that I never called our great fallen soldiers anything other than HEROES. This is more made up Fake News given by disgusting & jealous failures in a disgraceful attempt to influence the 2020 Election!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2020

But Trump did describe McCain as a loser, citing his capture by enemy forces.

“I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said at an Iowa summit during his presidential campaign in 2015, adding that, “I don’t like losers.”

On July 18, 2015, Trump also tweeted a link to a political blog that quoted himself at the same event.

“Via @fitsnews: ‘Donald Trump: John McCain is ‘A Loser,'” Trump said in a tweet with a link to the blog.

Via @fitsnews: “Donald Trump: John McCain Is ‘A Loser’” http://t.co/sgiETvdUqi

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2015

Trump also denied having disparaged US service members who were killed during World War I. The Atlantic reported that during a 2018 trip to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris, Trump told senior staffers that the cemetery was “filled with losers” and that US Marines who died at the Battle of Belleau Wood were “suckers.”

Trump told reporters Thursday that the Atlantic’s sources were “lowlifes.”

“I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes,” he said. “There is nobody that respects them more. So, I just think it’s a horrible, horrible thing.”

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said on Thursday that the president denied the allegations made in the report “in very emphatic terms,” adding that, “He was more offended by them.”

Following The Atlantic’s report, The Washington Post reported that Trump also frequently disparaged veterans and soldiers missing in action, also calling them “losers.” Citing a former senior administration official, the Post reported that Trump told senior advisers he didn’t understand why the military spent highly valued finding soldiers missing in action. He said if they were captured, they deserved what they got, one source told the Post.

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