Trump to call families of slain soldiers, questions Obama
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump today will call the families of four soldiers killed this month in Niger, the White House says, as Trump again casts doubt on whether his predecessor appropriately consoled the families of military personnel who died in war.
Trump in a radio interview suggested that President Barack Obama did not call John Kelly, a former Marine general who is now White House chief of staff, when his son, Marine 2nd Lt. Robert Kelly, was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
"I think I've called every family of someone who's died," Trump told Fox News radio host Brian Kilmeade. "As far as other representatives, I don't know. You could ask General Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?"
A White House official later said Obama did not call Kelly but did not immediately respond to questions about whether the former president reached out in some other fashion.
A former spokesman for Obama, Ned Price, reacted angrily on Twitter. "Kelly, a man of honor & decency, should stop this inane cruelty," Price tweeted. "He saw up-close just how_& how much_Obama cared for the fallen's families."
Trump had said in a news conference Monday he had written letters to the families of four soldiers killed in the Niger ambush and planned to call them, crediting himself with taking extra steps in honoring the dead properly.
"Most of them didn't make calls," he said of his predecessors. He said it's possible that Obama "did sometimes," but "other presidents did not call."