Biden chokes up while talking about deceased son and Trump's disparaging remarks about service members

PITTSBURGH — President Joe Biden choked up Wednesday talking about the military service of his family members and former President Donald Trump‘s disparaging remarks about service members.

“They asked [Trump] to go visit American gravesites. He said, ‘No.’ He wouldn’t do it. Because they were all ‘suckers’ and ‘losers,’” Biden told a crowd of union workers. “I’m not making that up. The staff who were with him acknowledge it today. Suckers and losers.”

He paused for a moment and added, “That man doesn’t deserve to have been the commander in chief for my son, my uncle.” Beau Biden and Ambrose Finnegan both served in the military before Trump took office.

Biden’s comments referred to Trump’s 2018 trip to Paris for the centennial of the end of World War I, when he declined to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and reportedly called Marines who died at Belleau Wood “suckers” and fallen soldiers at the U.S. cemetery “losers.”

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly confirmed last year that Trump privately made the remarks, which The Atlantic first reported.

In response to a request for comment, the Trump campaign denied Trump made the comments cited by Biden.

“Joe Biden is repeating an old and tired lie about President Trump to deflect from the fact that he has is the weakest Commander in Chief in history,” national press secretary Karoline Leavitt said in a statement. “When President Trump is back in the White House, he will rebuild our military and restore peace, once again.”

Biden has often cited Trump’s 2018 remarks, but Wednesday was the first time he had tied them directly to his son and his uncle.

On Tuesday, Biden called Trump’s remarks “offensive” during a campaign rally in his childhood hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, displaying a sense of anger at Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

“He said that those soldiers who gave their lives were … ‘suckers’ and ‘losers,'” Biden said. “Who the hell does he think he is?”

“These soldiers are heroes, just as every American who served this nation,” Biden said to loud applause.

Biden, who was in Pittsburgh for the second stop of a three-city tour of Pennsylvania, said he was reminded of Trump’s comments about service members while he was visiting a war memorial in Scranton.

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