Sep 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump slams Fox News reporter who confirmed parts of Atlantic story

President Trump lashed out at Fox News reporter Jennifer Griffin, who confirmed parts of a story in The Atlantic that revealed, based on anonymous sources, that the president in 2018 called American service members buried at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France "losers."

What they're saying: "All refuted by many witnesses. Jennifer Griffin should be fired for this kind of reporting. Never even called us for comment. @FoxNews is gone!" Trump tweeted late Friday night.

  • Griffin's reporting, which also relied on anonymous sourcing, said that Trump called the Vietnam War "stupid" and argued that anyone who fought in it was a "sucker."
  • Trump rebuked The Atlantic's story on Thursday, telling reporters "if people really exist that would have said that, they’re lowlifes and they’re liars. And I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes. There is nobody that respects them more..."
  • White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a briefing on Friday: "The story in the Atlantic has been categorically debunked by eyewitnesses and contemporaneous documents."

Reality check: While the president publicly criticizes anonymous sources, his White House often permits them outright.

  • It's not unusual for White House press calls or briefings to be conducted with the agreement that speakers be referred to as "senior administration officials" in subsequent reporting.

The other side: Griffin told Fox News on Saturday, "I can tell you that my sources are unimpeachable. I feel very confident with what we have reported at FOX."

  • "Not every line of The Atlantic article did I confirm, but I would say that most of the descriptions and the quotes in that Atlantic article I did find people who were able to confirm and so you know I feel very confident in my reporting," she added.

Axios has reached out to the White House for additional comment.

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