The Second Battle of Belleau Wood: Trump Attacks On Fox Reporter Triggers Bipartisan Resistance

Scott_Belleau_WoodRepublicans from Fox’s Brit Hume to GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger(Ill.) have rushed to the defense Fox New reporter Jennifer Griffin, who was attacked by President Donald Trump for simply confirming aspects of the recent explosive story in The Atlantic. My column this weekend discussed the article alleging that Trump has spoken in disparaging terms of our veterans and war dead. Trump called for Griffin to be fired despite other news organizations also reporting that Trump has referred to veterans as “losers” and “suckers.”  Trump seemed most upset by the fact that Griffin was saying that she “confirmed” the story when in fact she confirmed comments allegedly made about Vietnam veterans, not the specific alleged comment on war dead in France from World War I.  That is a valid point, though likely lost on most citizens who correctly view such references to veterans of any war as vile and disgraceful.  Moreover, it is outrageous for a president to call for a respected reporter to be fired for doing her job. Yet, what is most striking is how, again, Trump’s attacks only magnify the attention and damage of the story.

This latest controversy was triggered by an Atlantic article written by the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Jeffrey Goldberg. The article alleges damaging statements by Trump, such as dismissing the dead buried at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery as “losers” and “suckers.”

This_battle_scene_was_painted_in_1919_by_artist_Frank_Schoonover_of_the_Battle_of_Belleau_WoodAs many on this blog know, I am a military history nut and sometimes write in military history publications.  Aisne-Marne is the resting place of some of our most inspiring heroes from the Battle of Belleau Wood. I will not detail the battle but it was one of the most defining struggles of the United States Marines, and the United States military generally in World War I.

Trump insisted that “Jennifer Griffin of Fox News Did Not Confirm ‘Most Salacious‘ Part of Atlantic Story via @BreitbartNews All refuted by many witnesses. Jennifer Griffin should be fired for this kind of reporting. Never even called us for comment. @FoxNews is gone!”

His point appears to be that Griffin confirmed from other sources that Trump has made these offensive comments about Vietnam veterans (as have other journalists) but not that he referred to the Aisne-Marne dead as “losers” and “suckers.”  She did confirm that Trump did not want to have the flags lowered for John McCain and other aspects of the story.

The failure to confirm the specific and “most salacious” allegation is significant. In fairness to Griffin, however. she makes it clear that she confirmed the statement on Vietnam veterans. The media took off on the “confirmation” story without making the distinction.


As noted in my column, a long list of officials and former officials, including the staunchly anti-Trump former National Security Adviser John Bolton, have denied the story on the comment regarding the World War I fallen. They were with him on this trip and in these meetings. Moreover, they have refuted that suggestion that Trump did not want to attend the ceremony out of concern for his hair (he in fact appeared as ceremonies on the trip in the rain).

Yet, for most Americans, this is like moving about the deck chairs on the Titanic.  The confirmed aspects from the statement on Vietnam veterans to the McCain story are deeply disturbing and offensive.

Fox News has correctly rallied around Griffin as have figures on the left and right. This is not the type of unity that Trump should be striving to achieve in the country. Once again, President Trump’s personal attack has rendered his underlying point moot and irrelevant as Republicans and Democrats join in supporting Griffin.

roads_hamilton1In the Battle of Belleau Wood, Marine Major George W. Hamilton was told that he was presumed dead and responded “Who said I was dead. Send me the mortars and a thousand hand grenades.” It is a demand that no doubt would resonate with President Trump who seems to view the solution to any explosive political controversy as more explosives. However, Hamilton knew who the enemy was and his men knew the cause they were dying for. Hamilton was not asking them to die for him, but for a greater good.  Many of those Marines are now buried at Aisne-Marne.  That was an example of transcendent leadership that is tragically missing in this controversy.

238 thoughts on “The Second Battle of Belleau Wood: Trump Attacks On Fox Reporter Triggers Bipartisan Resistance”

  1. We hired a non politician because the real politicians had arrived at the point of being completely useless. Make mistakes sure he did. But most were light weight. Unlike the biased to the point we expect them to be useless. I’ll take an outsider with what now is a good war record over a bona fide purveyor of untruths like the major media any day of the week. And then expect a simple I’m sorry to fix things. . We expect the news to distort and provide falsehoods for the most part. I don’t worry too much about someone doing exactly what we hired him to do expose and destroy the foreign ideologist whose slippery tongues have long made them ‘enemies’ of the citizens and The Republic.

  2. War is a racket…we’re all dupes and losers. I’m paraphrasing General Smedley Butler from WW1.

  3. Writing in the fashion of Needs to be Committed I will copy a portion of an article from the Federalist: (The difference is that this posting contains no lies and Goldberg’s quote on the subject is the complete quote in context.)

    “Atlantic Editor Concedes Central Claim Of Trump Hit Piece Could Be Wrong

    On Sunday, Atlantic Editor in Chief Jeffrey Goldberg admitted the White House’s account that President Trump’s trip to a cemetery of fallen World War I soldiers in France in 2018 was modified due to bad weather is probably accurate.”

    In the article Bolton’s statement was read in a rather complete fashion and Jeffrey Goldberg was asked about that statement by Bolton that has been copied on this blog.

    Goldberg’s answer very surprisingly was that Bolton’s statement was true. It was captured on video and his exact remark was “hm… my response is…I’m sure all those things are true” at which time Goldberg changed the subject.

    1. McCain went along with abandoning the POWs in Vietnam when the war ended. That story was reported by Sydney Schanberg in The London Review of books because the print media in the US wouldn’t have it. The story never made it across the pond.

      He did not deserve the honor of a lowered flag.

  4. If the truth mattered to Jennifer Griffin, she would have published this story, not two months before an election, but two years ago when it allegedly occurred.

    Jennifer Griffin could not report this story two years ago because it never happened.

    The truth is reported when it happens.

    A lie is reported when it does the most damage.

    Jennifer Griffin just went subjectively and ideologically political.

    Jennifer Griffin is not a journalist.

    Jennifer Griffin is an ideologue; a propagandist seeking publicity and maximal effect – right in front of an election.

    Jennifer Griffin, your name is Mudd!

      1. California is doing just that thanks to lunatics in the State Assembly and a clueless governor.

        1. Did you say, “Lunatics?”

          “The son of working class parents and grandson of Mexican immigrants, Rendon was far from a high achieving student, once carrying a grade point average of 0.83 and nearly flunking out of high school.”

          From the blighted ghetto, built and evacuated by Americans long ago, as the invading hordes were allowed to take over:


          Anthony Rendon is speaker of the California State Assembly, a position he has held since March 2016.

          Since 2012, Rendon has represented the 63rd Assembly District, which includes nine cities – Bell, Cudahy, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, South Gate and a northern portion of Long Beach.

          The son of working class parents and grandson of Mexican immigrants, Rendon was far from a high achieving student, once carrying a grade point average of 0.83 and nearly flunking out of high school.

          Who let them in? Who allowed the invasion? Most certainly not the American Founders.

          “Crazy Abe” Lincoln was compelled by law to deport freed slaves not facilitate an invasion of illegal aliens – in 1863, the Naturalization Act, 1802,required citizens to be “…free white person(s)…”

          “Crazy Abe” never met a legal and constitutional violation he didn’t like.

          Of course, secession was constitutional, the Founders themselves seceded from Great Britain, for crying out loud.

          “…free white person(s)…”

          Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1798 and 1802 – Four Iterations

          United States Congress, “An act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” March 26, 1790

          Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof,…

          “Suppose 20 millions of republican Americans thrown all of a sudden into France, what would be the condition of that kingdom?”

          “If it would be more turbulent, less happy, less strong, we may believe that the addition of half a million of foreigners to our present numbers would produce a similar effect here.”

          – Thomas Jefferson

          “The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

          – Alexander Hamilton

  5. I like this topic because all the crazies are so pationate about it.They found something easy to complain about even if they have the facts all wrong and are left with making up stories.

    This makes me happy. Why? Because it shows the left’s ability to attack on substance doesn’t exist. The left has no policies in place to adequately debate the affairs of the nation. The left has lost except for its ability to cheat, intimidate and terrorize. If that is what people like they will vote for Biden.

    By the way for the fools that keep telling us all the different ways of getting Trump to where he wanted to go but couldn’t, there probably were ways to get there at great cost to a lot of normal citizens and at higher risk than merited.

    The biggest problem that I believe caused the Secret Service to absolutely cancel the trip was not getting there but the abiltiy to get Trump out of there should something have happened. They didn’t have the manpower and they didn’t have visibility in the skies.

    1. Allan, “ The biggest problem that I believe caused the Secret Service to absolutely cancel the trip was not getting there but the abiltiy to get Trump out of there should something have happened. They didn’t have the manpower and they didn’t have visibility in the skies.”

      Pulling stuff out of your butt doesn’t count as facts.

      The event was planned well in advance. Any problems or security concerns were addressed long before the president got there. What “you believe” doesn’t replace what they actually did.

      Your constant pitiful excuses just make you look more of a fool. Trump is already on record lying about why he didn’t go. Sheesh.

      1. “Pulling stuff out of your butt doesn’t count as facts.”

        What a stupid person you are Svelaz. That is documented by John Bolton in his book long before this latest false attack on the President. Even the author of the article Jeffery Goldberg was forced to admit to the truth of that fact, but you are too stupid to think before you write.

        The plan was to use helicopters. Low visibility changed everything so the plan could not be used.

        If anyone has a doubt about Svelaz’s ignorance his recent arguments should settle the doubt. No person of normal intelligence can believe Svelaz has a reasonable understanding of the subject. He is definitely one that should never be listened to.

        1. What a stupid person you are Allan.
          Allan is definitely one that should never be listened to.

    2. I wholeheartedly agree with you that the inability to get Trump out of there was a major consideration in the Go/No Go decision, either by air or ground.

      You also have to consider that the president always travels with an aide who carries our nuclear launch codes. The need to safeguard the codes (or to recover them in the case of a mishap) may have been as important as protecting the president himself. Even if there’s a small risk, the consequences would be huge.

      The whole idea of a four-hour round trip by car strikes me as a little odd. When is the last time you saw a president go by car from the White House to Andrews or Walter Read? They always seem to take Marine One, as well as other support aircraft. The farthest I can recall a president traveling in the beast is once around the track at Daytona.

      1. Theresites, the U.S. military would have had no problem getting the president out of there. The president’s limousine is a virtual tank and can communicate with anyone from it.

        1. I defer to your extensive experience in military logistics. I was in operations and intelligence for thirty years, but never a loggie.

          That said, perhaps you could enlighten me. What do you do about refueling? Stop at the nearest Total station? Would Secret Service agents have to get the key attached to the sawed-off broom handle for comfort stops?

          By the way, even tanks (which are tracked and not wheeled) break down every now and then.

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