White House: Obama Didn't Call John Kelly When Son Died

Trump had earlier Tuesday suggested Kelly be asked if he got a call
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2017 12:10 PM CDT
Trump: Ask John Kelly If Obama Called Over Son's Death
President Trump sits for a radio interview in the White House in Washington on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Trump addressed his Monday comments regarding how his predecessors communicated with the families of fallen soldiers without budging, and this time he brought chief of staff John Kelly into it. He originally claimed that "most of" his predecessors didn't make such calls, including President Obama, a stance softened to Obama "probably did sometimes and maybe sometimes he didn't. I don't know. That's what I was told." Politico reports that in a Fox News radio interview, Trump reiterated that he believed it to be unclear how former presidents handled things: "As far as other representatives, I don't know. I mean, you could ask General Kelly did he get a call from Obama," referring to when Kelly's son died in November 2010. "You could ask other people. I don't know what Obama's policy was. I write letters, and I also call."

Kelly's son, 2nd Lt. Robert Kelly, lost his life in Afghanistan by stepping on a land mine. That the subject even came up is the fault of CNN, which raised the question Monday, and fake news, Trump said: "There's nothing to clarify. This was, again, fake news CNN. I mean, they're just a bunch of fakers." NBC News and the Hill both received confirmation from a White House official that Kelly did not receive a call from Obama. The official didn't specify whether Obama reached out via letter or some other form of communication. As for Trump, "I think I've called every family of somebody that's died, and it's the hardest call to make."

(Read more President Trump stories.)

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