Former National Security Advisor John Bolton disputed the allegations made by anonymous sources in The Atlantic. According to the anonymous sources, President Donald Trump didn’t want to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018 because the troops there who died in battle were “losers” and “suckers.”
But, as PJM’s Stephen Kruiser noted Friday morning, “A bombshell piece like this that relies solely on anonymous sources doesn’t pass the smell test.” It certainly didn’t and the allegations quickly fell apart, as numerous officials who were with the president that day have gone on the record to say it never happened.
But perhaps the most compelling refutation of the story came from Bolton, who recently wrote an anti-Trump memoir, The Room Where It Happened. Bolton told the New York Times on Friday that “I was there” and “I didn’t hear that,” during the discussion about going to the cemetery.
He got support from an unlikely source on Friday when John R. Bolton, his former national security adviser who has broken with him and called him unfit for office, said he was on the trip in question and never heard Mr. Trump make those remarks. “I didn’t hear that,” Mr. Bolton said in an interview. “I’m not saying he didn’t say them later in the day or another time but I was there for that discussion.”
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Had Trump actually made the remarks alleged in The Atlantic‘s smear piece, Bolton would have had every incentive to say that the comments were made. In fact, Bolton wrote about Trump’s would-be visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in his memoir. Bolton, as noted above, was present for the discussion about going to the cemetery, and made no mention of the alleged remarks in his book.
For sure, Trump-haters will spend the rest of Trump’s presidency pretending The Atlantic‘s story was legitimate, the same way they still believe Trump colluded with Russia or that Trump called white supremacists “very fine people” despite that claim being completely debunked.
More bogus stories are sure to come as polls tighten and Trump’s reelection seems increasingly likely.