In several conversations since the story was published on Thursday, Trump strictly denied that he commented and said what he had done for the military. Two people who spoke with him said it was clearly a sign of how much this story resonated with Trump – and their fear that it might hurt their support with the military.
When this story first surfaced on Thursday, Trump was resented during flights to and around Pennsylvania and demanded that allies start rejecting it. This included sending his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows behind Airforce One to explain that this was not true. His angry response prompted officials to push for a massive pushback effort that began Thursday night.
By the weekend, however, Trump appeared more outrageous than the accusations leveled at him, based on the conversations he held.
On Tuesday morning, Meadows claimed that Trump was not referencing Defense Secretary Mark Graff, a former top lobbyist for Raytheon, or chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Miley, when he commented – though it is unclear That Trump would have been referring instead.
The president’s relations with Arizona have deteriorated considerably, and CNN reports that he will almost certainly be replaced if Trump is re-elected.
It is also unclear how the disparity of Trump’s “military industrial complex” fits within his efforts to broker sales of foreign arms – a central element of his foreign policy – including countries such as Saudi Arabia.
But it has become clear to some that none of those who could have fabricated the story have denied it, including former chief of staff John Kelly or who is currently chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Kelly and Dunford traveled to Eisen-Marne Cemetery instead of Trump when their trip was canceled due to rain.