Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor-in-Chief for The Atlantic, confessed that the central claim in his publication’s reprehensible hit piece on the President could very well be false.
The Atlantic column starts off with a claim that the President did not want to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, because “his hair would become disheveled in the rain” and that “he did not believe it important to honor American war dead.”
Remember – this is the lede to the piece and sets up every other argument throughout. That Trump despises the military and veterans, and referred to them as “suckers” and “losers.”
Goldberg admits that his four, off-the-record, anonymous sources may not have been correct and that the visit was indeed called off due to weather.
When presented with an excerpt from former national security adviser John Bolton’s book which details how the weather was the cause for cancellation of the visit to the cemetery, not a decision by POTUS over his hair, Goldberg conceded, “I’m sure all of those things are true.”
Goldberg Still Stands By His Reporting
Not only did Bolton inadvertently provide evidence that Goldberg’s ‘Swift Boat’ attempt of the President was factually incorrect in at least this one aspect, but he followed up in a subsequent interview with Fox News to reiterate the story was false.
“According to what that article said, the president made disparaging remarks about soldiers and people buried in the cemetery in connection with the decision for him not to go to the ceremony that was planned that afternoon,” Bolton stated, “and that was simply false.”
He continued, “I don’t know who told the author that, but that was false.”
The entire premise of the story is certifiably fake news, and the American people are supposed to believe the other things your anonymous sources said? That’s not how this works.
Still, Goldberg is standing by the bulk of the story.
CNN asked the Editor to respond to President Trump’s denials that the comments were ever made.
“I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes,” the President said. “There is nobody that respects them more. So, I just think it’s a horrible, horrible thing.”
He added, “What animal would say such a thing?”
Goldberg replied, “Uh, I stand by my reporting. I have multiple sources saying this is what happened, so I stand by it.”
About Those Sources
Goldberg can stand by those sources all he wants, but it says something about his journalistic integrity that he is willing to run a story based on accounts from four anonymous sources instead of actually researching their claims.
Claims that, by now, have been denied by 21 people overall, and over a dozen who had first-hand knowledge of events that took place during the trip in question.
The Atlantic has four nameless sources, while the President has the following backing him up:
- John Bolton (see above and the excerpt from his book).
- Zach Fuentes, Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff to Gen. John Kelly: “I don’t know who the sources are,” Fuentes told Breitbart News. “I did not hear POTUS call anyone losers when I told him about the weather. Honestly, do you think General Kelly would have stood by and let ANYONE call fallen Marines losers?”
- Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Former White House Press Secretary:
- Lt. General Keith Kellogg (Ret.), National Security Adviser for Vice President Pence: “The Atlantic story is completely false. Absolutely lacks merit. I’ve been by the President’s side. He has always shown the highest respect to our active duty troops and veterans with utmost respect paid to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and those wounded in battle.”
- Hogan Gidley, Former White House Deputy Press Secretary:
- Dan Scavino, White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications:
- Jordan Karem, Former Personal Aide to President Trump:
- Stephen Miller, White House Senior Advisor: The Atlantic story is a “despicable lie” and “the president deeply wanted to attend the memorial event in question and was deeply displeased by the bad weather call.”
- First Lady Melania Trump:
- Dan Walsh, Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff: “I can attest to the fact that there was a bad weather call in France, and that the helicopters were unable to safely make the flight.”
- Derek Lyons, Staff Secretary and Counselor to the President: “I was with the President the morning after the scheduled visit. He was extremely disappointed that arrangements could not be made to get him to the site, and that the trip had been cancelled.”
- Johnny DeStefano, Former Counselor to the President:
- Tony Ornato, White House Deputy Chief of Staff and Former Secret Service Special Agent in Charge of the Presidential Protective Division:
- U.S. Ambassador to France and Monaco Jamie McCourt: “In my presence, POTUS has NEVER denigrated any member of the U.S. military or anyone in service to our country. And he certainly did not that day, either. Let me add, he was devastated to not be able to go to the cemetery at Belleau Wood. In fact, the next day, he attended and spoke at the ceremony in Suresnes in the pouring rain.”
- Mark Meadows, White House Chief of Staff:
- Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary:
- Judd Deere, Deputy Press Secretary for President Trump:
- Mick Mulvaney, Former Acting White House Chief of Staff:
- Alyssa Farah, White House Communications Director:
- Nick Ayers, Former Chief of Staff to Vice President Mike Pence:
- Major General (ret.) Bill Matz, Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission:
At least fourteen of the aforementioned people were on the trip in which these anonymous sources claim the President disparaged veterans.