Donald Trump’s former Chief of Staff John Kelly confirmed that the former president called fallen soldiers “losers” in a statement on Monday.
Kelly confirmed that comment by Trump and several other disparaging remarks the former president made about veterans that were revealed in a bombshell report by The Atlantic in 2020, which Trump denied at the time.
“What can I add that has not already been said?” Kelly told CNN in a statement.
“A person that thinks those who defend their country in uniform, or are shot down or seriously wounded in combat, or spend years being tortured as POWs are all ‘suckers’ because ‘there is nothing in it for them,”’ Kelly continued. “A person that did not want to be seen in the presence of military amputees because ‘it doesn’t look good for me.’ A person who demonstrated open contempt for a Gold Star family – for all Gold Star families – on TV during the 2016 campaign, and rants that our most precious heroes who gave their lives in America’s defense are ‘losers’ and wouldn’t visit their graves in France.”
Kelly, a retired Marine Corps General who lost his son to a land mine in Afghanistan in 2010, told CNN that he heard these comments firsthand.
In his statement, Kelly blasted Trump as a “person that has no idea what America stands for and has no idea what America is all about.”
“There is nothing more that can be said. God help us,” Kelly added.
In 2020, The Atlantic reported that Trump did not want to visit the graves of soldiers buried in the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, during a trip to France, because “it’s filled with losers.”
The Trump administration dismissed the report at the time as “fake news.”
A Trump spokesperson said in a statement on Monday: “John Kelly has totally clowned himself with these debunked stories he’s made up because he didn’t serve his President well while working as Chief of Staff.”