President Donald Trump denied having ever called Sen. John McCain of Arizona a “loser,” despite having previously tweeted out a news article that described him doing exactly that. Trump denied a report from The Atlantic that said he called McCain and President George H.W. Bush losers. Trump acknowledged on Twitter that he “was never a big fan” of McCain, who died in 2018, but said that despite their differences he had “never called John a loser.” In 2015, Trump tweeted a link to a political blog that quoted him calling McCain a loser.
Trump and his senior officials on Thursday attempted to deflect the blowback from an article published in The Atlantic that quoted several unnamed sources who said the president had made disparaging remarks about US service members — including those who died in battle and those who went on to become notable politicians.