Biden demands Trump apologize for reportedly disparaging service members

Joseph R. Biden said Friday if a recent report that President Trump called U.S. Marines who died in World War are “suckers” and “losers” is true that he should apologize to the members of the military and their families.

Mr. Biden said the revelations in The Atlantic story this week are “disgusting” and fit a pattern that shows the president, who received five draft deferments during the Vietnam War, has no sense of service to anyone but himself.

“It affirms what most of us believe to be true that Donald Trump is not fit to do the job of president and be the commander-in-chief,” Mr. Biden said.

The Atlantic reported Thursday that Mr. Trump canceled a trip to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018 because he had no interest in honoring the dead soldiers.

“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,” Mr. Trump reportedly said, according to four people with “firsthand knowledge” of the conversations.

Mr. Trump also allegedly said that the more than 1,800 Marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood were “suckers.”

Mr. Trump has vehemently dismissed the claims.

“For somebody to say the things that they say I said is a total lie. It’s fake news,” Mr. Trump told reporters Thursday. “It’s a disgrace. And frankly, it’s a disgrace to your profession.”

Mr. Biden pounced on Friday, saying his son, Beau, who served in war zones, and the men and women he served with were not “suckers” or “losers.”

“If these statements are true, the president should humbly apologize to every Gold Star mother and father, and every Blue Star family he is denigrated and insulted,” Mr. Biden said. “Who the heck does he think he is?”

Mr. Biden said Mr. Trump has a track record of downplaying and ridiculing military service — pointing out that he said then-Sen. John McCain was “not a war hero” in the 2016 presidential race.

Mr. McCain was shot down and held prisoner for almost six years during the Vietnam War.

Mr. Biden said Mr. Trump also has dismissed concerns over traumatic brain injuries sustained in the Iraq War as “mere headaches” and failed to respond to reports that Russia was putting bounties on the heads of American troops in Afghanistan.

“President Trump has demonstrated he has no sense of service, no loyalty to any cause except for himself,” Mr. Biden. “If I have the honor of being the next commander-in-chief I will ensure that our American heroes know I will have their backs, honor their sacrifice, and those who have been injured will be in military parades.”

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