Jennifer Griffin of Fox News Did Not Confirm ‘Most Salacious’ Part of Atlantic Story

UNSPECIFIED, AFGANISTAN - AUGUST 25: In this handout image provided by FOX News, Gen. David Petraeus (L) speaks with FOX News Channel's Jennifer Griffin for an exclusive cable interview to air on FOX News Channel this evening August 25, 2010 in Afghanistan. Earlier this week Gen. Petraeus claimed that the …
Justin Fishel/FOX News Channel via Getty Images

Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reported Friday that two anonymous former “senior” U.S.  officials had confirmed “key parts” of the Atlantic‘s story about the president, but could not confirm “the most salacious” part.

On Thursday evening, the Atlantic reported that President Donald Trump had referred to dead American World War I troops in France as “losers” and “suckers” in 2018; and that he canceled a trip to a military cemetery because he did not want his hair wet.

The story was based on claims by four anonymous sources. Nearly a dozen current and former administration officials went on the record to refute the story — notably, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has become a Trump critic.

Nevertheless, many on the left claimed Fox News had “confirmed” the story based on several tweets by Griffin.

On Special Report, Griffin told host Bret Baier that her anonymous sources said Trump had used the term “suckers” to refer to Americans who fought in Vietnam.

The latter claim is not actually new. Former Trump lawyer-turned-opponent Michael Cohen made the same claim publicly in early 2019.

Griffin also said that she confirmed that Trump had asked why veterans served, “What’s in it for them? They don’t make any money.”

That reflected a similar claim by the Atlantic about a remark Trump was alleged to have made at Arlington National Cemetery — though without context, it is impossible to know whether Trump was praising them for volunteering regardless of personal or financial gain, rather than (as the Atlantic and Griffith presumed) mocking them for doing so.

She also said that one, or both, sources confirmed some other details in the Atlantic story.

But Griffin said she could not confirm “the most salacious” part of the Atlantic report, which claimed that Trump had called World War I solders buried at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris “losers” and “suckers.”

Notably, Griffin did not tweet that she had failed to confirm the headline claim of the Atlantic piece, which was titled: “Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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