Trump Says Obama Never Called the Families of Dead Soldiers

WATCH: Trump Says Obama Never Called the Families of Dead Soldiers

Ex-Obama staffers leaped to defend their former boss, who did in fact call some of the families of soldiers killed in action, as did his immediate predecessors.

His remarks came amid questions at a press conference over Trump not having responded yet to the deaths of four USA soldiers in an October 4 ambush in Niger.

"So the traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, a lot of them didn't make calls", Trump claimed.

"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. I like to call when it's appropriate".

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushed back against nearly universal condemnation of President Donald Trump's smear of previous presidents not speaking with the families of fallen soldiers, saying the president was "Just stating a fact". They have made the ultimate sacrifice.

While the White House didn't disclose exactly which official was smearing Obama, Steven Perlberg of BuzzFeed later reported that Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was one of the officials confirming on background that Obama hadn't called Kelly.

"I actually wrote letters individually to the soldiers we're talking about, and they're going to be going out either today or tomorrow", he said, meaning he wrote to the families of the fallen soldiers.

"President Trump's claim is wrong".

Gerald Caskey, whose son, Marine Sgt. Joseph Caskey, 24, of West View, was killed by an IED in Afghanistan in June, 2010, said his family received a letter but no phone call from President Obama after Joseph's death.

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The aide said the Kellys were seated at then-first lady Michelle Obama's table. "All I can do is ask my generals".

Trump was called out on the claim a few minutes later by NBC News White House Correspondent Peter Alexander, and he backtracked on the comments.

A White House official later said that Obama did not call Kelly but did not immediately respond to questions about whether the former president reached out in some other fashion.

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

"I also photographed him meeting with hundreds of wounded soldiers, and family members of those killed in action", he wrote. "I was told [Obama] didn't often, and a lot of presidents don't".

"I don't know if he did", he said of Mr Obama.

He said it was possible that Mr Obama "did sometimes" but "other presidents did not call". "Sometimes they call, sometimes they send a letter, other times they have the opportunity to meet family members in person".

I desperately wish the current president of the United States agreed.

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