Reporter Jeffrey Goldberg Addresses Trump’s “Loser” Remarks, Talks Using Anonymous Sources
It has been a rough Labor Day weekend and the trump. White House where officials are absolutely full out freaking out about Thursday. Night's report in the Atlantic that trump had characterized Americans who died in war losers and suckers trump has spent the past four days repeatedly nine the story marshalling all kinds of people to. Come forward to knock it down he insisted today the quote an animal would say thing that the White House trotted out figures like Sarah Sanders who we know is lied to reporters multiple times to claim the report isn't true because they were there when trump didn't say the terrible things he allegedly said take they're hoping you don't think about that formulation too much. The main problem for the White House here is that the evidence supporting the story is pretty obvious and clear and almost overwhelming to anyone not inside the trump reality distortion bubble. The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg reported that trump cancelled a visit to an American military cemetery near Paris back in two thousand eighteen partially because he worried his hair would become disheveled in the rain and partially because he did not respect the American war dead interred there. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the schedule visit trump said, why should I go to that cemetery? It's filled with losers in a separate conversation on the same trip trump preferred to the more than eighteen hundred marines who lost their lives at Bellawood as suckers for getting killed. Now, the sources in the story are anonymous you know anonymous sources are not as. Good. As name sources when you're evaluating something, but it doesn't mean that the claims came in on some anonymous tip line that no one knows where they came from. It means a reporter in this case, Jeffrey Goldberg spoke to people directly interviewed them and has agreed not to identify them in the story Jeffrey. Goldberg, will be here with me to talk about that in just a moment. His initial story has now been confirmed in part or in its entirety by reporters at. All okay. Remarkably a correspondent at Fox News included in that lineup whom trump promptly called on the network to fire. Some of those corroborating stories included even more damning details about the president like this one from the Washington Post quote the president told senior advisors that he didn't understand why the US government plays such value on finding soldiers missing in action because they had performed poorly and gotten caught and deserve what they got and this from the New York Times people familiar Mr Trump's private conversations saying he has long scorned those who served in Vietnam as being too dumb to have gotten out of it as he did through medical diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels. Back in two thousand, nineteen trump's former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen testified the trump admitted to faking those bonds first telling cone quote you think I'm stupid I wasn't going to Vietnam. There's even more evidence that trump view soldiers at stupid or suckers Mary trump the president's knees wrote in a recent book that trump and threatened to disown his eldest son if don Jr. joined the military. She also says that her own Father Fred trump junior was mocked by donald trump because he fred trump junior decided to join the US air. National. Guard quote my father was frequently ridiculed for his career choices and disparaged for serving our country by both his father and by his brother Donald. Then, there's the fact that pretty much none of trump's top military officials past and present are backing the president up. I mean you really can't find anyone who's stepping forward to defend his character save he would never say anything like that they aren't disputing the story instead that's been left talking heads and former flax and loyalists. That's maybe not a huge surprise because trump allegedly said about all US servicemembers, hues very closely to what he said back in two thousand fifteen about one particular veteran Senator John McCain. War here or euro he's a war hero years he's a war hero presumes captured. I like people that weren't captured. Okay I hate to. John. McCain was prisoner of war in Vietnam for five years host. Donald Trump avoided that war had a different experience in an interview in the nineties. He characterized his efforts to avoid transmitted diseases while sleeping with numerous women as quote, my personal Vietnam. An. Event with Union members today Joe Biden lambasted the president's comments an invoked zone Sun Beau who served in Iraq and then died from a brain tumor in two thousand fifteen. Those of served. Risk, their lives even gave their lives, our nation losers suckers. He's our heroes. Tell you something. My Bowl wasn't loser. For A sucker if that's I, talk about our veterans, you have no business being president of the United States of America. What's being entered into the record here to take a step back and look at all the evidence about Donald Trump. Shocking. Morally offensive. It's not surprising. It's about what we have come to expect. But. One big question that keeps pulling on my shoulders. Why are we learning about this now? What does it mean that we are? For more on that and the fallout from his incredible reporting joined by Jeffrey Goldberg He's the Editor in chief of the Atlantic and I jeff, maybe I start a little bit with. The reaction to this story from the White House you. There are stories that come out all the time about the president that are fairly scandalous incredibly scandalous. And one time they said it's fake news and they swatted away or the new cycle moved on, they do seem particularly freaked out. About this reporting. An particularly intent on attacking it what what is your sort of reading of the last three or four days of their reaction? Well he's a good question. First thing I would say is that. This is not an attack on these are not reports of an attack on site immigrants or black people or or something like that we expect from Donald Trump and something that his base might actually help him with his base. This could hurt him with his with his base You know the the the second thing is I. Think there's a lot of. Nervousness in the White House and again I won't I'm not commenting on anything having to do with my sourcing or other reporter's saw sourcing Fox. Washington Post whatever. I'm you know there's a there's a deep hostility and mistrust in the White House of. Current and former generals people who lead the military. We saw that today Donald Trump did something that I. I've never seen before he attacked his own a service chiefs. He attacked his own leaders of the Armed Forces on call? Them. I mean, even in the even in this sort of an Tasma, we are twenty twenty race that's still something but I think it has to do with the fact that This is the kind of accusation that sounds believable in also goes directly to. A core constituency that Donald trump obviously needs to Keep energized come November. Yeah we we should note that there's there's been polling of of active duty servicemembers in which he's he's underwater with them There's been an interesting sort of officer enlisted split, but he's been losing ground even with a enlisted members. He's gone for a net positive nine points and Net net net negative twelve points. You can see that there. That's the latest military times pulling. You just mentioned what he said today was pretty remarkable. Briefly, sort of like channeling kind of like left anti-imperialism vis-a-vis his own service chiefs although it's completely like made up and fabricated because he. In the next breath, he's constantly bragging about how big the Pentagon budget is and how Raytheon is making off like a bandit. So but I wanNA play that clip just to get your response to it take a listen to what he said. I'm not saying that military in love with me to soldiers are the top people in the Pentagon probably aren't because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and everything else they. Happy. But we're getting out of the endless wars you know how we're doing. But here's the thing Jeff. They're not this drives me insane the where we have expanded our footprint, we've expanded bombings all the theaters, and this is an absolute con-. This idea that the Great Antiwar Donald Trump has some revolt on his hands on the generals. As, you will know the generals are usually more hesitant to go to war than not usually often more has to go to war than than civilian leaders for some obvious reasons. No, this was remarkable i. mean he sort of channeling. Start Sixty Bob Dylan lyrics here I pointed out on a show media today it's It's quite remarkable given that tomorrow there's a pretty good chance that he'll brag about how much money he's spending on military hardware, and of course, as you know, he's deeply transactional in love it when when foreign countries by our military equipment. So if you're looking for consistency in that particular clip, you're you're looking forward it in the wrong place it doesn't make sense in any kind of traditional understanding of of politics.