Trump cites chief-of-staff Kelly's dead son to attack Obama

18 October, 2017, 00:59 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Trump Claims Obama Didn't Call Fallen Soldiers Families

Trump was asked on Monday why he had not yet commented on the deaths of four US soldiers who were ambushed during a mission in Niger on October 4.

"I remember he did on occasion make calls and met gold star families at the White House and on his base visits", said Benjamin Rhodes, a national security aide to Obama.

"You could ask General [John] Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?" a defiant Trump said in a radio interview with Fox News, a reference to the late 1st Lt. Robert Michael Kelly, 29, a Marine who was mortally wounded after stepping on a landmine. "Obama and other presidents" most certainly made calls.

Pressed later in the news conference, Trump admitted he didn't know what Obama's practice was in regard to the families of fallen soldiers. "When American heroes make the ultimate sacrifice, presidents pay their respects". After saying he had written letters to the families and planned to call them next week, he criticized former presidents.

In his answer, Trump turned attention to the policies of past presidents and their contact with families of service members who have died.

Trump's assertion belied a long record of meetings Obama held with the families of killed service people, as well as calls and letters, dating to the earliest days of his presidency.

Obama's office did not respond to a request for comment.


"I will gladly lend you my copy", Khan said, pulling a pocket-size copy of the Constitution from his jacket.

From our perusal of news reports and news databases, we could not find any contemporaneous evidence that Obama spoke about such calls or that the White House announced he had called families. "It is the toughest calls I have to make are the calls where this happens, soldiers are killed".

With an expletive, she called Mr Trump's statement in the Rose Garden a lie.

"I will, at some point during the period of time, call the parents and the families - because I have done that, traditionally", he added. She said that presidents didn't always call families of those killed in battle: "Sometimes they call, sometimes they send a letter, other times they have the opportunity to meet family members in person". I don't know what (George W.) Bush did. "I was told that he didn't often, and a lot of presidents don't".

Obama hosted a breakfast for "Gold Star" families - those who had lost a family member who was in uniform - on May 30, 2011, according to the White House public schedule for that day.

When Lonny Wells, 29, of Vandergrift, was killed in Iraq in 2004, his family received letters from numerous government officials, but no personal letter from the president, said John Lattanzi, longtime boyfriend of Wells' mother, Yvonne Lynn Wells.

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