True or Not, The Atlantic Story on Donald Trump Doesn’t Really Matter

The Atlantic’s insinuation that Donald Trump made insensitive comments regarding the military won’t sway his supporters, true or not.
Donald Trump
The Atlantic's report on Donald Trump's alleged remarks is unlikely to hurt him - whether it's true or not. | Source: REUTERS/Mike Segar
  • The Atlantic Article claiming Trump called service people “losers” and “suckers” won’t hurt his support base.
  • Trump supporters believe the news is out to get him.
  • The Atlantic’s lack of evidence and the conflicting story from John Bolton add fuel to Trump’s claims of media bias.

Did he or didn’t he? This weekend, the internet is awash with a debate regarding whether or not Donald Trump referred to fallen and injured soldiers as “losers” and “suckers.” A scathing article in the Atlantic claims the President prioritized his hair over a memorial service for fallen soldiers.

Donald Trump, The Atlantic, Election
Donald Trump is fighting back against a story painting him as insensitive to the military. | Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaste

It’s truly deplorable to think anyone— let alone the President— would say that about those who’ve served the country. But for many, it’s also believable. Donald Trump often makes inflammatory statements using that kind of language. His criticism of John McCain as a failure for being captured is well documented. Simply put, it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

Still, the article is based on a host of unnamed sources— something Trump and his administration have condemned saying it allows the press to invent whatever stories they want to. Notorious Trump critic John Bolton’s own account of the incident doesn’t align with what was said in the story. So while believable, there’s also a distinct possibility it’s not true— or at very least embellished.

Donald Trump’s Supporters Remain Committed

Trump’s adversaries are still pushing the story, though, in hopes that the President’s image as a military supporter will crumble. Sixty percent of veterans who turned out at the polls in 2016 voted for Donald Trump. Democrats are hoping to chip away at that number, especially in swing states.

Whether or not Trump said those things is irrelevant, though, because the only group that cares is his opposition. Liberal media have run stories highlighting single voters who’ve changed their mind based on the Atlantic article, but that’s unlikely to represent the majority of 2016 Trump voters.

That’s because military vets and military families that support Donald Trump already know that he says things like that. Back in 2015, Donald Trump not only referred to McCain, a veteran and prisoner of war, as a loser. Not only that, but he took a jab at McCain for having been captured.

He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured

Donald Trump jabs John Mccain for being captured during 2015. Watch the video below:

The vets overwhelmingly supported him anyway. 

Donald Trump, presidential election, the atlantic
Exit polls from 2016 showed Donald Trump had 60% of the veteran vote. | Source: CNN

Polling data shows that veterans are primarily interested in two major issues: ending wars and improving veteran’s healthcare options. Say what you will about the rest of Donald Trump’s presidency, but those are two things the President did, in fact, deliver on. He’s promised to bring troops home from the Middle East and so far, the VA MISSION Act, aimed at improving veterans’ healthcare, has been well-received.

Nathan Thomas, a US Army Infantry Veteran, says the media’s sensationalized articles about the President don’t phase him. 

I generally see a story/headline like that and just chuckle. Especially considering the proximity to the coming elections. While I was active duty, and among most of the other soldiers, you just respected the commander in chief and kept your head down about politics. Now being a veteran, I tend to keep the same sort of approach for the most part. I always want the president to succeed, because that generally means the nation succeeds.

With regard to what was written in the Atlantic, Thomas said he doesn’t buy it. He’s especially skeptical considering the fact that the sources are unnamed. If it were true, he agreed that it might sway his vote, but not toward Biden.

If he did say it then yeah it would change my vote. Something aimed at us like that would be a bombshell for sure […] it just seems so unlikely. I still wouldn’t vote for Biden though.

So, the Atlantic’s expose probably didn’t do much to sway Trump’s military voting base. In fact, it may have done just the opposite. Donald Trump has made much of media bias over the past four years and it’s a core belief among his supporters.

This latest ordeal adds to Trump’s narrative that you can’t trust the press, and it means his voters are even less likely to trust future stories disparaging the President. 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.

Samburaj Das edited this article for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

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Laura Hoy

Laura Hoy

Laura has been working as financial journalist covering US markets for more than a decade. Her work can be found in a wide variety of publications including Yahoo Finance, InvestorPlace, Nasdaq and Benzinga. , contact her at lmariehoy@gmail.com, see her LinkedIn profile here, or check her out on Muck Rack. Laura Hoy is a Trusted Journalist.

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