Trump claims Obama, other former presidents didn't call families of fallen soldiers

Katrina Barker
October 18, 2017

WASHINGTON-President Donald Trump falsely claimed Monday that President Barack Obama and other past presidents did not call the relatives of servicemembers killed in action.

"For the most part, to the best of my knowledge, I think I've called every family of somebody that's died, and it's the hardest call to make, and I said it very loud and clear yesterday". Then he pivoted to his predecessors.

"The traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents ― a lot of them didn't make calls". "When American heroes make the ultimate sacrifice, presidents pay their respects". Sometimes it's a very hard thing to do, but I do a combination of both. In 2011, he flew to Dover Air Force Base in DE when 30 soldiers - including 22 Navy SEALs - died after their helicopter was hit by a rocket by Afghanistan. A spokesman for Obama declined a CNN request for comment about Trump's remarks.

Former Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes similarly called it a "disrespectful lie".

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

During the 2016 election campaign, Trump engaged in a war of words with Khizr Khan, the father of a soldier who was killed in action.

One alumna of the Obama White House, Alyssa Mastromonaco, called the claim "a fucking lie".

Obama's former aides were quick to lash back.

Still, in early 2011, the family of one fallen soldier, Sgt. Sean Collins, told Fox News they had requested a call from Obama and were told his schedule was too packed for a conversation.

Here is one of those occasions, shared by AM Joy contributor Scott Dworkin, when the former president flew to DE at midnight in 2009 to meet with family members and pay his respects to 18 soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Seventeen sailors were killed in accidents involving two Navy warships, the USS John S. McCain and the USS Fitzgerald. The body of a fourth US soldier was recovered later. "They write letters. I do, I do a combination of both". We've not even been willing to call them terrorists for the last however many years.

"I said it very loud and clear yesterday".

"It is a very hard thing", Trump said. It's a very, very tough day.

White House visitor logs, meanwhile, show Kelly attended a breakfast for Gold Star families hosted by the Obamas six months after his son's death, according to the Associated Press.

On Monday, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, joined a growing chorus calling for a review of the circumstances leading to the ambush.

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. This time, he seemed to soften his tone. I don't know what (George W) Bush did. "Other presidents did not call, they would write letters, and some presidents didn't do anything".

"President Obama, I think probably did sometimes, and maybe sometimes he didn't".

Conway said, "Well, I just don't see that in the president's agenda or in his philosophy. All I can do - all I can do is ask my generals", he said.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER