President Trump's claim Tuesday that he has called the family of every American soldier to die during his presidency was simply untrue, reports the AP, which found three families that never got the call. Two of them didn't receive a letter. Sheila Murphy, whose Army son died in Syria in May, says she never heard from Trump, even after she wrote to him to say "some days I don't want to live." Other families did receive calls: Aldene Lee says 10 days after her son was killed in Iraq in April, Trump called and described the soldier as a "lovely young man." Asked Tuesday to clarify his comments on his predecessors not calling families, Trump said reporters could "ask General Kelly did he get a call from Obama" when his son died in 2010.
Kelly has been reluctant to publicly discuss his son, 2nd Lt. Robert Kelly, though he did describe him as a "wonderful guy" in an emotional Fox interview on Memorial Day, the New York Times reports. "Wonderful husband. Wonderful son. Wonderful brother. Brave beyond all get out," he said. Sources tell the Washington Post that Kelly is very strongly opposed to having his son's death politicized, and that Trump may have publicly repeated details his chief of staff told him in private. "I just think it demeans the presidency" for Trump to use Kelly and his son "to back up his excuses for whatever happened," former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta tells the Post. (A Florida lawmaker says Trump made an insensitive remark to the widow of one of four soldiers killed in Niger.)