- The Washington Times - Monday, September 7, 2020

President Trump said Monday that some top military brass probably don’t support him “because they want to do nothing but fight wars,” pushing back for a fifth straight day against a report that he disparaged U.S. war dead as “losers.”

“I’m not saying the military’s in love with me. The soldiers are,” Mr. Trump said at a Labor Day press conference at the White House. “The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars, so all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”

The president was responding to a report in The Atlantic claiming that he didn’t want to visit a U.S. military cemetery in France in 2018 and told aides that the casualties from World War I were “suckers.” Mr. Trump again called the story “a hoax.”

He pointed to a new report that Zach Fuentes, who was a top aide to former White House chief of staff John F. Kelly, said he never heard the president use such language.

But Mr. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, has been silent on the matter. So has retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who served as secretary of Defense under Mr. Trump.

Asked about his well-known feuds with the late Sen. John McCain, a Vietnam veteran and prisoner of war, the president said, “I’ve always been on the opposite side of John McCain. He wanted the endless wars, and I didn’t.”

“And of course, he took the fake, dirty [Steele] dossier and gave it over to the FBI,” Mr. Trump said. “I didn’t agree with him on a lot of things. The story is a hoax.”

A poll last week in Stars and Stripes showed that active-duty military personnel favor Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden slightly over Mr. Trump. That’s a big shift from 2016, when the same publication’s survey found Mr. Trump leading Hillary Clinton by two-to-one among active-duty military.

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