Trump claims about fallen soldier family notifications by predecessors untrue

Barack Obama after Mr. Trump’s inauguration on January 20. Credit Ruth Fremson  The New York Times

"But I like the combination of-when I can-the combination of a call and also a letter".

Even by Trump standards, this was a breathtaking lie.

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.

Later, Trump backtracked on the claim slightly, saying "I was told that he didn't often". The President was speaking about tax reforms when he went off on a tangent about his devotion for personally calling the families of soldiers who were killed in action.

President Trump said Monday that he had personally penned letters to the family members of four American special forces soldiers killed in Niger, but he came under intense criticism for the almost two-week delay.

"That's a f****** lie", Alyssa Mastromonaco, who worked as White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations under Mr Obama, tweeted. "I will at some point during the period of time call the parents and the families because I have done that, traditionally", Trump said. I felt very, very badly about that. "A lot of them didn't make calls", he said.

The army identified the other soldiers killed as Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, and Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson.

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It's more hard for the families who have lost a loved one in service to their country. But some of his more recent comments about the military reveal a habit of seeking to honor soldiers - a group that conservatives deeply respect - by pitting them against groups that Republican voters tend to view less favorably. Wallace said Trump's remarks amounted to "slander" against Obama (along with George W. Bush) and she wondered whether the president truly comprehends the gravity of his station. "For me, that's by far the toughest", he added.

"So the traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, majority didn't make calls", Trump told reporters.

"I was told that he didn't often, and a lot of presidents don't", Trump said. They have made the ultimate sacrifice.

"All I can do is ask my generals", Trump said. "Michelle and I have spent countless hours with them".

After his recent trip to Puerto Rico, for example, the president bragged, "I guess it's one of the few times anybody has done this". The Gateway Pundit, a conservative outlet which has its own White House press credentials, wrote in 2012 that Obama had sent the same form letter to all fallen soldiers' families, signed with auto-pen.

Also in Monday's press conference, Trump blasted National Football League players like Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee to protest police killings of Black people and racial oppression.

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