Melania Trump Refutes Atlantic Story About Veterans: 'This Is Not Journalism—It Is Activism'

First lady Melania Trump pushed back against a piece in The Atlantic last week in which anonymous sources said President Donald Trump called World War I veterans "losers" and "suckers." On Friday, she said the report by Jeffrey Goldberg is simply "not true," and she went on to label the magazine article as "activism" rather than the work of a journalist.

The Atlantic article highlighted Trump's 2018 visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris, where the president reportedly told senior staff members: "Why should I go to that cemetery? It's filled with losers." The White House outright denied Trump made the alleged comments about fallen World War I soldiers, which the article went on to say he labeled "suckers" for getting killed in battle.

".@TheAtlantic story is not true. It has become a very dangerous time when anonymous sources are believed above all else, & no one knows their motivation. This is not journalism - It is activism. And it is a disservice to the people of our great nation," Melania Trump wrote on Twitter Friday, refuting the piece published Thursday.

The first lady has not frequently weighed in on specific reports about her husband, who also rejected the story about his remarks at Belleau Wood as false.

"It's a fake story, and it's a disgrace that they're allowed to do it," the president told reporters Friday during an Oval Office meeting at the White House with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovar Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti. "There's nobody that considers the military, especially people that have given their lives in the military, to me, they're heroes. It's even hard to believe how they could do it ... the level of bravery. To me, they are absolute heroes."

President Trump noted that former national security adviser John Bolton's recent memoir critical of his administration also discussed the France visit, but never mentioned the alleged remarks about World War I soldiers.

Both Melania and Donald Trump retweeted several members of the administration who also refuted that Trump referred to the soldiers as "losers" and "suckers."

"I was with POTUS in France...and have been at his side throughout it all. Complete lies by "anonymous sources" that were "dropped" just as he begins to campaign (and surge). A disgraceful attempt to smear POTUS, 60 days before the Presidential Election! Disgusting!!" responded Dan Scavino, assistant to the President and White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications.

Trump also pushed back on The Atlantic piece's reference to his comments about the late Arizona Senator John McCain, who spent five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. "He's not a war hero," Trump said in 2015. "I like people who weren't captured."

Newsweek reached out to the White House for additional remarks Saturday morning.

Donald Trump, military, patriot, losers, suckers
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump host the 2020 "Salute to America" event in honor of Independence Day on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., July 4, 2020. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images/Getty
Melania Trump Refutes Atlantic Story About Veterans: 'This Is Not Journalism—It Is Activism' | News