A video emerged on Friday of Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden calling soldiers “stupid bastards” and a “dull bunch” during a speech overseas to U.S. soldiers while he was serving as vice president in the Obama administration.
“I have incredibly good judgment,” Biden said. “One, I married Jill, and two, I appointed Johnson to the academy. I just want you to know that. Clap for that, you stupid bastards.”
Moments later, Biden appeared to say that the soldiers were “a dull bunch” and that they “must be slow.”
Wow. Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden called our troops "stupid bastards" in 2016. How did this video stay hidden for so long? There’s only one stupid bastard in this clip and it’s definitely not any of our troops… pic.twitter.com/YZ99utMx30
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) September 25, 2020
Newly resurfaced video shows Joe Biden calling servicemembers “stupid bastards” pic.twitter.com/yOrz5Ak7bY
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 25, 2020
The Biden campaign confirmed to The Daily Beast that the video was real, but claimed that Biden made the comments “jokingly.”
“Vice President Biden was jokingly encouraging the audience to clap for an airwoman on the stage, and a number of service members can be seen laughing and smiling at the comment. Seconds before, he praised them for ‘the incredible sacrifices [they] make for our country,’” Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates said. “He thanked them for their patriotism and courage throughout, and closed his remarks by saying, ‘you’re the finest generation of warriors the world has ever, ever known’—receiving an enthusiastic ovation.”
The video comes after The Atlantic reported earlier this month — citing anonymous sources — that Trump had called dead U.S. soldiers “losers” and “suckers” during a trip to France in 2018.
Biden pounced on the report — even though 14 witnesses went on record to dispute the report — launching “a $47 million ad campaign across various TV, digital, and radio platforms” that targeted military service members, according to Business Insider.
“If what is written in The Atlantic is true, it’s disgusting,” Biden said. “And it affirms what most of us believe to be true: that Donald Trump is not fit to do the job of president, to be the commander in chief.”
The following individuals, who were reportedly with the president during the 2018 visit to France, pushed back on The Atlantic report:
- Zach Fuentes, Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff to Gen. John Kelly, said: “I did not hear POTUS call anyone losers when I told him about the weather. Honestly, do you think General Kelly would have stood by and let ANYONE call fallen Marines losers?”
- John Bolton, Former National Security Advisor, said: “I didn’t hear either of those comments or anything even resembling them. I was there at the point in time that morning when it was decided that he would not go Aisne-Marne cemetery. He decided not to do it because of John Kelly’s recommendation. It was entirely a weather-related decision, and I thought the proper thing to do.”
- Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Former White House Press Secretary, said: “The Atlantic story on @realDonaldTrump is total BS. I was actually there and one of the people part of the discussion – this never happened. I have sat in the room when our President called family members after their sons were killed in action and it was heart-wrenching… These were some of the moments I witnessed the President show his heart and demonstrate how much he respects the selfless and courageous men and women of our military. I am disgusted by this false attack.”
- Hogan Gidley, Former White House Deputy Press Secretary, said: “These are disgusting, grotesque, reprehensible lies. I was there in Paris and the President never said those things. In fact, he would never even think such vile thoughts because I know from firsthand knowledge that President Trump absolutely loves, respects, and reveres the brave men and women of the United States military. He always has and always will. These weak, pathetic, cowardly background ‘sources’ do not have the courage or decency to put their names to these false accusations because they know how completely ludicrous they are. It’s sickening that they would hide in the shadows to knowingly try and hurt the morale of our great military simply for an attack on a political opponent.”
- Dan Scavino, White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications, said: “I was with POTUS in France, with Sarah, and have been at his side throughout it all. Complete lies by ‘anonymous sources’ that were ‘dropped’ just as he begins to campaign (and surge). A disgraceful attempt to smear POTUS, 60 days before the Presidential Election! Disgusting!!”
- Jordan Karem, Former Personal Aide to President Trump, said: “This is not even close to being factually accurate. Plain and simple, it just never happened.”
- Karem added: “Again, this is 100% false. I was next to @POTUS the whole day! The President was greatly disappointed when told we couldn’t fly there. He was incredibly eager to honor our Fallen Heroes.”
- Johnny DeStefano, Former Counselor to the President, said: “I was on this trip. The Atlantic bit is not true. Period.”
- Stephen Miller, White House Senior Advisor, said: The accusation is a “despicable lie … The president deeply wanted to attend the memorial event in question and was deeply displeased by the bad weather call.”
- Tony Ornato, White House Deputy Chief of Staff and Former Secret Service Special Agent in Charge of the Presidential Protective Division, reportedly “pushed back very hard” on the article, according to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
- Derek Lyons, Staff Secretary and Counselor to the President, said: “I was with the President the morning after the scheduled visit. He was extremely disappointed that arrangements could not be made to get him to the site, and that the trip had been cancelled.”
- Dan Walsh, Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff, said: “I can attest to the fact that there was a bad weather call in France, and that the helicopters were unable to safely make the flight.”
- First Lady Melania Trump said: “@TheAtlantic story is not true. It has become a very dangerous time when anonymous sources are believed above all else, & no one knows their motivation. This is not journalism – It is activism. And it is a disservice to the people of our great nation.”
- U.S. Ambassador to France and Monaco Jamie McCourt, said: “In my presence, POTUS has NEVER denigrated any member of the U.S. military or anyone in service to our country. And he certainly did not that day, either. Let me add, he was devastated to not be able to go to the cemetery at Belleau Wood. In fact, the next day, he attended and spoke at the ceremony in Suresnes in the pouring rain.”
- Major General (ret.) Bill Matz, Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission, said: “As a former Army infantryman who has flown on many helicopters, I knew that morning the weather was bad and the ceiling was too low for a safe landing that day. When the President’s visit was appropriately canceled due to weather, I received word also that he was upset he would not be able to make the wreath-laying visit and to pay his respect to the 2300 fallen soldiers and Marines interred there.”