Shortly after President Donald Trump encouraged reporters to ask his chief of staff, retired four-star Marine Gen. John Kelly, if former President Barack Obama called him following his son’s death in Afghanistan, the White House confirmed that the Kelly family did not receive a call from Obama.
During a Tuesday interview with Brian Kilmeade on Fox News Radio, Trump challenged the media to question Obama’s response to the death of Kelly’s son, Marine 1st Lt. Robert Kelly, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Nov. 9, 2010.
Regarding his response to families of of fallen U.S. soldiers, Trump said, “I think I’ve called every family of somebody who’s died.”
“As far as other representatives, I don’t know,” he added. “You could ask Gen. Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?”
The Washington Examiner was told by a White House official that Kelly did not receive a call from Obama after his son died in the line of duty.
ABC News reported that John Kelly and his wife, Karen, attended a breakfast for Gold Star families at the White House on May 30, 2011, and sat at first lady Michelle Obama’s table.
The breakfast took place six months after the death of Robert Kelly, and it remains unclear if Obama contacted the Kelly family prior to the event.
Trump sparked the controversy with comments he made during a Monday news conference, asserting that most other presidents, including Obama, did not call families of fallen service members, according to The Hill.
Trump’s remarks came after he was asked why he had not spoken publicly about the deaths of four U.S. Army Special Forces members in Niger earlier this month. Trump said that he had written letters to the families of the soldiers and plans to call them soon.
“If you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls,” Trump said. “A lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate.”
Former White House officials and aides have issued statements regarding the actions of former Presidents Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, declaring Trump’s assertions untrue.
CNN reported that Trump clarified his comments by saying: “I really speak for myself. I am not speaking for other people. I don’t know what (George W.) Bush did. I don’t know what Obama did. I believe his policy was somewhat different than my policy.
“I can tell you, my policy is I have called every one of them,” he added.
Image and Content: Western Journalism