President Trump on Monday denied reports that he repeatedly mocked deceased American service members and skipped a visit to a veterans' cemetery out of concern that the rainy weather would mess up his hair.
- Some people are having a hard time believing your denial of "The Atlantic" story because of what you said about John McCain in the past. Do you understand that? And have you asked that?
DONALD TRUMP: No, I don't understand it.
- And have you asked Don Collins to refute that story?
DONALD TRUMP: No, I don't understand it at all. No, because I've always been on the opposite side of John McCain. John McCain liked wars. I will be a better worrier than anybody. But when we fight a war, we're going to win them.
And frankly, I was never a fan of John McCain. You know that. That's been very obvious. I was-- but I had to approve his entire funeral. I wanted him to get-- he deserved a first class-- you know, it all was approved by me. We sent Air Force One to pick up the casket-- a lot of things.
But no, I was not a fan of John McCain because he wanted the endless wars, and I didn't. I thought that the way the vets were taken care of, our great vets, was not good, not appropriate. And of course, he took the fake dirty dossier and gave it over to the FBI. So this is not somebody-- am I supposed to say, what a wonderful guy?
So you know what? I lived with him. He lived with me. But we had different philosophies. I think my philosophy is right. I think it's turned out to be right. But I wasn't a fan.
But I respect people. And I respect a lot of people. That doesn't mean I necessarily have to agree with them. And I didn't agree with him on a lot of things.
The story is a hoax written by a guy who's got a tremendously bad history. The magazine itself-- which I don't read, but I hear it's just totally anti-Trump-- he's a big Obama person. He's a big Clinton person. And he made up the story. It's a totally made-up story.
In fact, I was very happy to see Zach Fuentes came out and said, now he's-- I think that's number 15. And these are people that were there. That's the 15th person. General Kellogg, everybody that was there, knew what happened. And so I was happy to see that Zach came out and said it's not true. He just came out.
And it's a disgrace. Who would say a thing like that? Only an animal would say a thing like that. There is nobody that has more respect for not only our military, but the people that gave their lives in the military. There's nobody-- and I think John Kelly knows that. I think he would know that. I think he knows that from me.
But Zach Fuentes, you know, worked for John. And I think they both know that. But Zach came out, as you know, today or yesterday, last night, and said very strongly that he didn't hear anything like that. Even John Bolton came out and said that was untrue.
Now, what was true is that we had the worst weather. I think it was as bad a rain as I've just about ever seen. And it was a fog. You literally couldn't see. I walked out. I didn't have-- I didn't need somebody to tell me.
I walked out. I said, there's no way we can take helicopters in this. I understand helicopters very well. And they said, no, sir. That's been canceled. They would have had to go Secret Service-- I have the whole list. They would have had to go through a very, very busy section during the day of Paris. They would have had to go through the city.
The Paris police were asking us, please don't do it, because they're not ready. When you do that, you need a lot of time. They take days and days and days to prepare for that. I wanted to do it very badly. I was willing to sit in a car for two hours, three hours, four hours-- I didn't care. It didn't matter.
And I had nothing else to do. I went there for that. I had nothing else to do. It was ended because of the terrible weather. And nobody was prepared to go through-- in terms of Paris, the police, the military, and the Secret Service. And they came out very strongly and said, sir, we can't allow you to make this trip-- if I wanted to. Sir, we can't allow you from a safety standpoint.
It was a phony story, just like the dirty dossier, the fake dirty dossier, just like the Russia collusion, just like all of the other phony stories. And there'll be more phony stories.