Trump Explains his Delay in Talking to the Families of Fallen Soldiers

President Trump on Monday defended his delay in responding to the recent Army Green Beret deaths in Niger — and also claimed that former President Obama and other past presidents didn’t call the families of fallen soldiers.

Trump made the remark at an impromptu press conference in the White House Rose Garden after being asked why he had not yet addressed the four U.S. soldiers killed in Niger on Oct. 4.

The president said he had written personal letters to the families of the soldiers over the weekend and that they would be sent “either today or tomorrow.”

He also said he planned to call the parents and families of those who were killed, something he said he has done “traditionally.”

“The toughest calls I have to make are the calls where this happens — soldiers are killed,” Trump said.

“It’s a very difficult thing. Now it gets to a point where you make four or five of them in one day, it’s a very, very tough day. For me that’s by far the toughest,” he said.

“So the traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them, didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it,” he continued.

Trump’s remarks were immediately criticized online, as Obama and other past presidents did make calls to the families of fallen soldiers.

Obama and former President George W. Bush have both described the difficultly in making those calls.

Several former aides of Obama weighed in immediately, with former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco calling it a “f—ing lie” to say Obama and other past presidents hadn’t called the families of fallen soldiers.
“He’s a deranged animal,” she said of Trump in a tweet.

As the news conference continued, Trump was pressed on his claim, and said that he was “told” Obama didn’t often call the families of slain soldiers.

“I don’t know if he did. I was told that he didn’t often, and a lot of presidents don’t, they write letters. I do a combination of both,” Trump said.

“President Obama, I think probably did [call] sometimes and maybe sometimes he didn’t, I don’t know, that’s what I was told,” he said.

Trump added that “all I can do is ask my generals.”

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