Numerous reputable News Agencies have independently confirmed that the story of Trump's comment, based on reliable anonymous sources.
Atlantic also gave details about other incidents. It noted that Trump railed against lowering American flags after Sen. John McCain's death because McCain was a fucking loser for Trump. During a Memorial Day visit in 2017 to the grave of then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly's son, who had killed in Afghanistan in 2010, Trump asked why anyone would volunteer to serve in the military. "I don't get it. What was in it for them?" he reportedly asked the fallen Marine's father. The Atlantic cites four unnamed people with firsthand knowledge of Trump's comments.
The Washington Post, the New York Times, the Associated Press, and CNN have independently verified the parts of The Atlantic's reporting.
Associated Press reported that the story was confirmed to them by a senior Defense Department official along with a senior U.S. Marine Corps officer who told about Trump's comments. In 2015, shortly after launching his presidential candidacy, Trump publicly detonated McCain, saying, He's not a war hero and a loser in the context of his losing the 2008 residential election.
The Washington Post reported that a former senior administration official confirmed that the president frequently made disparaging comments about veterans and soldiers missing in action, referring to as losers.
The New York Times reported they could not confirm some of the specifics in The Atlantic's account by current and former officials. Still, they did verify that Trump resisted supporting an official funeral and lowering flags after the death of McCain. People familiar with Trump's private conversations said he had scorned those who served in Vietnam as being too dumb to have gotten out of it. Mr. Trump has expressed bewilderment that people choose military service over making money. Some also recalled him asking why the United States should be so interested in finding captured soldiers. Another former official said Mr. Trump often expressed discomfort around people who have injured. However, he had held events with wounded veterans. The New York Times also reported that according to Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, during a meeting at the Pentagon in 2017, Trump Rebuked top generals by saying Trump wouldn't go to war with them. He also told them, there are a bunch of dopes and babies.
CNN reported that a former senior administration official confirmed that Trump referred fallen U.S. service members at the Aisne-Marne cemetery in crude and derogatory terms during a November 2018 trip to France.
Responding to the story, Trump repeatedly denied that he made the remarks on the day the article had published. He also rallied current and former aides who backed him up on the record. He called the story fake and a disgrace.
However, based on Trump's past remarks and independent verifications carried out by reputable news outlets, we conclude that it is far more likely than not that the story is true.