Patterico's Pontifications


John Bolton Disputes Claims That Trump Denigrated Fallen U.S. Troops In France

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:50 am

[guest post by Dana]

John Bolton, who we know doesn’t hold Trump in high regard, has publicly said that the claims from anonymous sources as reported at The Atlantic are not true:

Former national security adviser John Bolton disputed the main thesis of The Atlantic’s recent report alleging that President Trump disparaged fallen American soldiers in France, calling the claim “simply false” in an appearance on “The Story” Monday.

“According to what that article said, the president made disparaging remarks about soldiers and people buried in the cemetery in connection with the decision for him not to go to the ceremony that was planned that afternoon, and that was simply false,” Bolton said.

“I don’t know who told the author that, but that was false.”

The president canceled the planned 2018 trip to the cemetery for American war dead in France because of the weather and not because of disdain for the slain soldiers, Bolton said, contradicting the report from The Atlantic claiming that Trump described the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery as being “filled with losers.”

“I don’t know who told the author that, but that was false.”

“The main issue was whether or not weather conditions permitted the president to go out to the cemetery,” Bolton, who was in the room at the time, recalled.

Former chief of staff John Kelly presented “logistical reasons why the trip couldn’t take place and the president assented to the recommendation that he not go,” Bolton explained.

Trump “sort of took the facts as they were,” Bolton said, calling the canceled trip a “very straight weather call.”

Bolton added that he would not put it past the President to disparage veterans, and pointed out what we already know:

“The president has a habit of disparaging people. He ends up denigrating almost everybody that he comes in contact with whose last name is not Trump.”

He was adamant that, when the decision was made, the President did not make the remarks as reported:

“I was simply responding to what I thought [was] the main point of The Atlantic article: that at the critical point Saturday morning, when the decision was made not to go to Aisne-Marne, that he made the disparaging remarks,” Bolton said, “and he did not.”

However, four days ago, Bolton did allow that it’s possible that Trump made disparaging remarks later in the day:

Bolton was on the 2018 trip to Paris with Trump but said he didn’t hear the president disparage the dead Marines himself.

“I didn’t hear him say those things,” he said, adding later he probably would have included the remarks in his book if he had. “Now, did he say those things to other people later in the day? It’s certainly possible.”

Two other individuals who were in the room at the time have also come out to deny that Trump made the comments about troops in Europe. The one that interests me the most is Zach Fuentes, former Deputy White House Chief of Staff:

Fuentes unequivocally denied The Atlantic’s report last week[.]

Fuentes personally briefed President Trump on the weather situation that led to the trip being canceled. He is also a close personal confidante of former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

“You can put me on record denying that I spoke with The Atlantic,” Fuentes told Breitbart News on Monday. “I don’t know who the sources are. 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?”

Fuentes also said that he is not happy to see Trump disparaging John Kelly:

“On a separate note, I am disappointed to see POTUS talk about General Kelly so negatively in the middle of being accused of saying negative things about the military,” Fuentes said. “If anyone understands selfless service, it’s General Kelly.”

The other individual countering claims in The Atlantic is United States Ambassador to France, Jamie McCourt:

“Needless to say, I never spoke to The Atlantic, and I can’t imagine who would,” McCourt told Breitbart News.

“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,” she added.

McCourt said the president was very disappointed he could not visit the cemetery at Belleau Wood, adding, “In fact, the next day, he attended and spoke at the ceremony in Suresnes in the pouring rain.”

While we have ourselves witnessed what sort of man Trump is, and have no illusions about him or the awful things he is willing to say about people he views as weak or as losers, I do think that it’s time for the anonymous sources to come forward with their claims.


School Suspends Boy For Having Toy Gun During Zoom Class

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:35 am

[guest post by Dana]

As parents and grandparents across the country find themselves learning how to navigate online school with their young charges, you would think that school districts would recognize the critical roles they play in the student’s life and that being at home for online school is not the same as being physically at school. But if you thought that in this case, you’d be wrong:

A 12-year-old boy has been suspended for having a toy gun he never brought to school.

Isaiah Elliott attends Grand Mountain, a K-8 grade school in the Widefield District #3, just south of Colorado Springs.

On Thursday, Aug. 27, the seventh grader was attending on online art class when a teacher saw Isaiah flash a toy gun across his computer screen. The toy in question is a neon green and black handgun with an orange tip with the words “Zombie Hunter” printed on the side.

The teacher notified the school principal who suspended Isaiah for five days and called the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a welfare check on the boy without calling his parents first.

“It was really frightening and upsetting for me as a parent, especially as the parent of an African-American young man, especially given what’s going on in our country right now,” said Isaiah’s father, Curtis Elliott, in an exclusive interview with FOX31.

Curtis’ wife Dani Elliott was equally furious with the school’s decision to notify her, only after deputies were on their way to the family’s home.

“For them to go as extreme as suspending him for five days, sending the police out, having the police threaten to press charges against him because they want to compare the virtual environment to the actual in-school environment is insane,” said Dani Elliott.

And even more ridiculous, the report says that the teacher “assumed it was a toy gun” but couldn’t be positive that the neon green and black gun with “Zombie Hunter” painted on it wasn’t real.

More detail:

After the class concluded, Elliott said she received an email from her son’s art teacher saying that Isaiah had been “extremely distracted” during the lesson.

The teacher wrote that there had been “a very serious issue with waving around a toy gun,” which she had reported to the school’s vice principal, according to Elliott.

Soon after getting the email, Elliott said she received a call from Grand Mountain School vice principal Keri Lindaman informing her that she had called school resource officers from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a health and wellness check on Isaiah at the family’s home.

“I had already explained to the teacher that it was a toy,” Elliott said. “I told [Lindaman] that it was a toy. She admitted that she knew it was a toy but Isaiah’s safety was of the utmost importance.”

Elliott said she couldn’t believe that the school administration had escalated the situation without informing her or her husband.

The parents are understandably upset about the school district’s response as well as comments made to their son by the visiting law enforcement:

“I expressed the seriousness of the situation to [redacted] and explained how this could potentially lead to criminal charges in the future,” the sheriff’s deputy wrote in his incident report. “I reiterated the importance of being present and paying attention to his education classes while doing the online learning curriculum.”

The school district sought to defend their actions:

“We follow all school board policies whether we are in-person learning or distance learning. We take the safety of all our students and staff very seriously. Safety is always our number one priority.”

How hard would it have been for the teacher to call Isaiah Elliot’s parents on the phone if she thought there was a problem? How hard would it have been to use plain old common sense rather than jump to conclusions and get law enforcement involved? But what I find even more disturbing is that the responsibility for disciplining a boy who is at home with a parent (although, according to reports, the dad had briefly left the home) belongs to the parents, first and foremost. The teacher’s and principal’s decision to bypass the parents and involve law enforcement was disrespectful to the parents and the unique role they hold in their child’s life as well as usurping their authority.

One of the comments that I commonly hear from parents, teachers, and administrators that I am in contact with, is that, in spite of the immense efforts of all parties involved, the Zoom classroom is simply not like a real classroom. Everything about the experience is different, and a lot of families are struggling with it. Everything from managing children, to using the technology successfully, to understanding expectations and being able to easily communicate with teachers are all part of the struggle.

With that, the report notes that a friend of Isaiah’s was in the home at the same time, and waved the toy gun at the screen. It is unknown whether he also received a suspension. The Elliots plan to transfer their son to a charter or private school.


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