Pence tells Kamala Harris that Trump was slandered by Atlantic

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Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday at the vice presidential debate in Utah that President Trump was slandered by an article in The Atlantic claiming he disparaged war dead.

“The slanders against President Donald Trump regarding men and women of our armed forces are absurd,” Pence said, speaking over debate moderator Susan Page of USA Today to make the point.

Pence denounced the report after Democratic running mate Sen. Kamala Harris of California said there was “a pattern of Donald Trump’s, where he has referred to our men who are serving in our military as suckers and losers.”

The Atlantic reported last month that Trump avoided visiting a military cemetery near Paris during a November 2018 trip after calling the World War I troops buried there “suckers,” and not because it was too foggy for a helicopter to fly.

Documents released to BuzzFeed under the Freedom of Information Act indicate the Navy canceled the helicopter trip with a “bad weather call,” as the White House asserted. The next day Trump spoke in the rain at another military cemetery near Paris.

“My son is a captain in the United States Marine Corps, my son-in-law is deployed in the United States Navy. I can assure all of you with sons and daughters serving in our military, President Donald Trump not only respects but reveres all of those who serve in our armed forces and any suggestion otherwise ridiculous,” Pence said.

But Harris said that Trump had a history of making negative remarks about troops.

“After the strike on [Iranian Gen. Qassem] Soleimani, there was a counter strike on our troops in Iraq. And they suffered serious brain injuries and do you know what? Donald Trump dismissed them as headaches. And this is about a pattern of Donald Trump’s, where he has referred to our men who are serving in our military as suckers and losers,” she said.

“Donald Trump, who went to Arlington Cemetery and stood above the graves of our fallen heroes and said, ‘What’s in it for them?’ Because of course you know he only thinks about what’s in it for him. Let’s take what he said about John McCain, a great American hero, and Donald Trump says he doesn’t deserve to be called a hero, because he was a prisoner of war.”

Trump denied The Atlantic’s reporting but has not sued the magazine for defamation.

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