Biden, the Democratic nominee, invoked the military history of his own son — Beau Biden, who died of cancer in 2015 — as he denounced the president, who has denied making the reported comments.
“When my son was an assistant U.S. attorney and he volunteered to go to Kosovo while the war was going on as a civilian, he wasn’t a sucker,” Biden said. “When my son volunteered and joined the United States military as the attorney general and went to Iraq for a year, won the Bronze Star and other commendations, he wasn’t a sucker,” Biden said.
“The servicemen and women he served with, particularly those who did not come home, were not losers. If these statements are true, the president should humbly apologize to every Gold Star mother and father and every Blue Star family that he’s denigrated and insulted,” Biden added.
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Biden’s remarks came a day after The Atlantic reported that Trump declined to visit an American cemetery near Paris in 2018 and referred to U.S. Marines buried there as “losers” and “suckers.”
“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,” Trump told aides after scrapping the visit to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, according to The Atlantic. The magazine did not identify the aides. The report said Trump later referred to the more than 1,800 Marines who lost their lives in the Battle of Belleau Wood in France as “suckers” for getting killed.
At the time, Trump publicly blamed his decision to scrap the visit on bad weather that scuttled his helicopter flight. He never explained why he didn’t take a car to the site.
The 1918 Battle of Belleau Wood dragged on for 20 days and ended with U.S. Marines successfully clearing out German camps. The Allied victory became an enduring symbol in U.S. Marine Corps history.
“I’ve just never been as disappointed in my whole career,” Biden later said in the remarks. “It is a disgrace.”
Trump had used the same word to describe the article itself. “To think that I would make statements negative to our military and fallen heroes when nobody has done what I’ve done,” for the U.S. armed forces, Trump told reporters Thursday night. “It’s a total lie … It’s a disgrace.”
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said in a statement to CNBC that, “The bogus attacks are the same as we heard in 2018 immediately following the trip to Paris and they are just as false now. “Every aspect of this charade should be dismissed out of hand,” Murtaugh said in the statement, which did not directly address Biden’s remarks.
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Read More: Biden demands apology after reports Trump called fallen troops ‘losers’