theatlantic.com
<http://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2016/10/donald-trump-serbia/503987/
>  


A Serbian News Magazine Retracts Its Story on Donald Trump


Krishnadev Calamur

Updated on October 14 at 7:50 a.m.

Nedeljnik, the independent Serbian news weekly, that posted what it said was
an interview with Donald Trump
<http://www.nedeljnik.rs/nedeljnik/portalnews/donald-tramp-ekskluzivno-za-ne
deljnik-izvinjavam-se-srbiji-1/> , the Republican presidential nominee, now
says it was the subject of a hoax
<http://www.nedeljnik.rs/nedeljnik/portalnews/saopstenje-redakcije-povodom-s
lucaja-tramp/> .

The retraction Friday of the story-a key demand made by the Trump campaign
on Thursday-was featured prominently on the publication's website. In its
apology to readers, Nedeljnik said it was deceived by Vladimir Rajcic, a
Serbian American, who had claimed to have ties to the Trump campaign, but it
added:

In this case, the fault is ours and ours alone. We believed the party who
provided us with evidence . and we did not fulfill our professional duties .
This wasn't done out of malice and not in order to bring readers astray.

But Rajcic in a separate post
<http://www.nedeljnik.rs/nedeljnik/portalnews/vladimir-rajcic-intervju-je-do
sao-sa-samog-vrha/>  on Nedeljnik stuck by his version of events-and
reiterated that the interview was, in fact, authentic. He said he would
provide evidence about his assertion soon.

  _____  

Updated on October 13 at 3:18 p.m.

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, is denying remarks
<https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/trump-campaign-statement6>
attributed to his campaign that he called the bombing of Serbia in the 1990s
"a mistake."

"Mr. Trump never gave an interview to the Serbian weekly magazine
Nedeljnikas as falsely reported by the discredited Newsweek, nor was such an
interview conducted through our Indiana State Director," Jason Miller, the
Trump campaign's senior communications adviser, said in a statement. "This
was a hoax and we look forward to receiving a formal retraction and apology
from all involved."

Nedeljnik
<http://www.nedeljnik.rs/nedeljnik/portalnews/donald-tramp-ekskluzivno-za-ne
deljnik-izvinjavam-se-srbiji-1/> , the independent Serbian news weekly,
quoted Trump as saying: "The bombing of the Serbs, who were our allies in
both world wars, it was a big mistake. The Serbs are very good people.
Unfortunately, the Clinton administration caused them a lot of harm, but
also throughout the Balkans, where they made a mess."

 
<http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-apologises-serbia-yugoslavia-bombing-5
09417> Newsweek, which first reported the comments, cited Nedeljnik's
managing editor, Marko Prelevic, as saying the interview was conducted via
email correspondence with Suzanne Ryder Jaworowski, a Trump campaign senior
adviser who is also campaign manager for the state of Indiana. 

Prelevic also told BuzzFeed News: "We established the contact with the Trump
campaign through Mr. Vladimir Rajcic, a Serbian American who is close to
some aides of Mr. Trump. We asked him if we could send over some questions
and after a couple of weeks got answers from Suzanne Ryder Jaworowski in an
email."

But Ryder Jaworowski also denied making the comments.

"Regarding the article about a media interview with a Serbian politician and
Mr. Trump via my email, this is completely false," she said. "I have never
served as a conduit to interview Mr. Trump for anyone."

NATO conducted airstrikes in the Balkans twice in the 1990s:  in both cases,
it was to stop ethnic cleansing by Serbs, first of Bosnian Muslims and then
of Albanian Kosovars. After the conflict, much of the Serbian leadership of
the period was tried and convicted of war crimes. The interventions, which
eventually saw the breakup of Yugoslavia, were seen as a major success for
the U.S. because it did not involve boots on the ground and resulted in no
American casualties. The intervention also came despite strong Russian
opposition in the U.N. Security Council; Russia claims a cultural kinship
with Serbia and views the region as part of its sphere of influence.

Price Floyd, a former U.S. State Department official who worked on the
Bosnia desk at the time, told me that the U.S. took the lead in the conflict
after the then-nascent European Union couldn't resolve the issue on its own.

"And it did make a difference: It brought about peace both in Kosovo and the
region," he said, adding: "Serbia was actually a success of U.S. foreign
policy. It worked."

The Republican nominee, who is running against President Clinton's wife,
Hillary Clinton, for the presidency, has been supported by Serb
ultra-nationalists
<https://theintercept.com/2016/08/16/serb-inspired-ethnic-cleansing-bosnia-l
eads-vote-trump-rally-belgrade/> , who during a recent rally urged
supporters to "Vote Trump, for the future of Serbia."

 

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