US President Donald Trump has described as a “slimeball” a journalist who quoted him as saying dead US soldiers were “losers” and “suckers”.
He likened the Atlantic magazine report to unproven accusations made against him of colluding with Russia to win the presidential election of 2016.
The damning quotes were confirmed independently by The Associated Press.
Veterans’ groups are among those condemning Mr Trump, less than two months from the 2020 election.
Progressive group VoteVets posted a video of families whose children had been killed in action. “You don’t know what it is to sacrifice,” says one.
Paul Rieckhoff of the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America, tweeted: “Who is really surprised by this?”
A small group of protesters waved placards at the president’s motorcade on Saturday