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Trump says John Kelly could be source for salacious article on U.S. war dead

President Trump said Friday night that former White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly “could have been” a source for a magazine article claiming Mr. Trump disparaged U.S. war dead, and he chided journalists for grilling him with hostile questions while treating Democratic rival Joseph R. Biden like “a child.”

At a White House press briefing, the president was asked if he thought Mr. Kelly, a retired Marine general, was a source of a negative article in The Atlantic. The story claimed that Mr. Trump resisted a visit to an American military cemetery in France in 2018, and called the U.S. casualties from World War I “losers” and “suckers.”

“It could have been a guy like a John Kelly,” the president said. “You look at some of his news conferences [at the White House], what happened to him he got eaten alive. He was unable to handle the pressure of this job.”

Mr. Kelly, a retired four-star general, departed the job on unfriendly terms in early 2019. The president said Mr. Kelly “didn’t do a good job, had no temperament, and ultimately he was petered out.”

“This man was totally exhausted, he wasn’t even able to function in the last number of months,” Mr. Trump said.

The president reiterated his contempt for The Atlantic and its article, which cited four anonymous sources with knowledge of the trip. He called it “a second-rate magazine.”

Mr. Kelly has not commented publicly about the matter.

Mr. Trump also complained about a double-standard in the media. He said reporters routinely ask him hostile questions, while Mr. Biden’s rare press events are filled with smiling journalists asking him softball questions.

“I watched the interview with ‘Sleepy Joe’ Biden, and … you didn’t ask questions like that,” he said. “Those questions were meant for a child — smiles on faces of reporters. They were not meant for a grown-up, they were meant for a child. When I watch Biden, getting asked questions that are really meant for a child to answer, anybody could answer, and I look at the level of question that you people ask, I mean honestly it’s disgraceful.”

In a rare comment, first lady Melania Trump said on Twitter Friday night that The Atlantic article “is not true.”

“It has become a very dangerous time when anonymous sources are believed above all else, & no one knows their motivation,” she said. “This is not journalism — It is activism. And it is a disservice to the people of our great nation.”

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Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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