Melania Trump on Friday defended her husband against allegations that he referred to US Marines buried in a WWI cemetery in France as "losers" and "suckers."
In a rare public statement, the US first lady rejected as "not true" the accusations made in an article published in The Atlantic magazine.
"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," she tweeted.
On Thursday The Atlantic reported -- citing four anonymous sources who said they had firsthand knowledge of the discussions -- that President Donald Trump had referred to US Marines buried in a World War I cemetery in France as "losers" and "suckers" for getting killed in action.
When visiting France in November 2018 for the centenary of the end of the Great War, Trump did not visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris as originally planned -- officially because bad weather grounded his helicopter.
But the magazine disputed that version of events.
The backlash was swift, and Trump sent a barrage of tweets to defend himself.
"The Atlantic magazine is dying, like most magazines, so they make up a fake story in order to gain some relevance," wrote the president, who went on to assail the report as "a disgrace" in a briefing to White House reporters.