President Trump says the angriest he's been during his reelection bid was when The Atlantic reported that he had called American military members who died at war "losers" and "suckers."
"It's a totally made-up story," Trump said on Fox Business' "Mornings with Maria." on Thursday. "They don't even have any witnesses, they made it up. And that's why they're lowlifes, because they made it up and went with a story. They know it wasn't true but they use it all the time."
The story, published in early September and citing multiple anonymous sources, alleges that the president also made disparaging remarks about wounded veterans and asked that they be kept out of military parades. The president has vehemently denied the reports.
"Now the gloves are off," Trump said in the interview Thursday. "Let the gloves be off."
During Wednesday night's vice presidential debate between Democratic nominee Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence, Harris attacked her opponent over Trump's record of insults against the late Sen. John McCain.
McCain, a Vietnam veteran and prisoner of war, died in 2018 after a long battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Trump repeatedly ripped McCain for being taken prisoner and held hostage during the war.
Pence, however, defended Trump, saying he "respects and reveres all of us who served in the armed forces" and called the accusations in The Atlantic article "slanders" against the president.
Separately, Trump said that the U.S. is in negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan and is working on withdrawing troops in the country, adding that only 4,000 members of the military remain.
"I'll have them home by the end of the year. They're coming home, you know, as we speak," Trump said, reiterating that he ordered the killings of Iranian Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last year.
"Our soldiers have been fantastic," Trump said.