Trump attacks the military
I was appalled at the allegations against President Donald Trump leveled in a recent article in The Atlantic. The article claimed that the president referred to American soldiers killed in World War I and buried in France as "losers" and "suckers." It also offered that the president is disdainful in general of military personnel who have been captured by the enemy or killed in combat.
The article cited four anonymous sources, each of whom claimed to be physically close enough to the president to have heard him make these awful statements. Fox News and CNN have both independently confirmed the accuracy of the allegations.
Nevertheless, we are eight weeks from Election Day, and so the president has forcefully and unconditionally denied making these statements. He has produced statements by more than a dozen others who were also physically close to him at the time, and they have denied hearing anything of the sort.
Whom to believe? Why dwell on this? Here is the backstory.
I have been a friend of Donald Trump since 1987 through the New Jersey legal community in which his sister and I were active as judges. Trump and I have also known each other through my on-air television work at Fox News. Trump enjoys a personal familiarity with many of my Fox colleagues and me. To this day, he and I speak on the phone from time to time over matters public and private.
To be Trump's friend does not immunize one from Trump's wrath. On the contrary, he expects total loyalty, particularly from those in the media, and he will not hesitate to attack his friends publicly should he hear anything from them that displeases him.
I am loyal to my friends, but foremost I am loyal to the truth. So, when special counsel Robert Mueller made allegations about the unlawfulness of Trump's behavior in the White House, it was my job at Fox to explain that the allegations offered that Trump committed numerous criminal acts of obstruction of justice while president.
When I explained on Fox how these allegations would result in indictments for anyone other than a sitting president, Trump took to Twitter to attack my intellect and my honesty. It bothered me for only a few hours, because I know him well.
True to form, Trump called my cell and offered that he and I had some ancient dispute and it would be best if we forgot it! We then laughed and proceeded into the reason for his call.
I provide this brief personal background as a setting for an analysis of this "losers" and "suckers" allegation. It appears more likely than not that he did say these things. I say this because -- for better or worse -- Donald Trump is unfiltered. He often says what first comes to his mind without thinking of the likely consequences -- including the hurt -- his words could produce. And he believes he can repair any hurt with more words.