Politics and the fallen: Trump hasn't called all families

Michelle Obama criticises Trump administration on school meals

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Michelle Obama criticises Trump administration on school meals 01:29

Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Democrat, told NBC Miami affiliate WTVJ that she heard the president's comment to Johnson's widow, Myeshia Johnson, on speaker phone as she rode with her and other family members to meet the body of Johnson, 25, of Miami Gardens, on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump went too far when he falsely claimed that former President Barack Obama had not called the families of slain soldiers, former Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday.

But AP found relatives of four soldiers who died overseas during Trump's presidency who said they never received calls from him.

Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders repeated the claim Wednesday, saying the president "has made contact with all of the families that have been presented to him through the White House Military Office". "We should be praising his family, not insulting them". "President Obama engaged families of the fallen and wounded warriors throughout his presidency through calls, letters, visits to Section 60 at Arlington, visits to Walter Reed, visits to Dover, and regular meetings with Gold Star families at the White House and across the country".

Hopefully we will soon find out whether Trump has the proof he claims to of what was said on the call, and hopefully that can be settled.

Jack Kingston, a Trump surrogate on CNN, said that one of the soldiers who was killed in Niger, Staff Sergeant Dustin Wright, was one of his constituents when he served in Congress. Kingston said that his father told him that during a phone call, Trump "listened to me and my concerns, no complaints". Frank Robert Gross was killed in Afghanistan six years ago, also defended Trump, telling CNN he thought the president's "words are basically being taken and misconstrued".

Asked if Trump politicized Kelly's son's death, Sanders says, "He was responding to a question and stating a fact". He's a hero. I was in the vehicle when President Trump called.

The Trump administration has since said General Kelly is "disgusted" that dealing with military deaths has become "politicised".

When I asked Ms Wilson if she would be making the aunt and uncle available for comment, she said: "I don't think they have that kind of strength". "But when we got on Marine One to fly back to the White House, the president was looking out the window, and then he looked at me and he said, 'That mama sure was mad at me.' And then he looked out the window and he said, 'And I don't blame her a bit.' And a tear rolled down his cheek, but he didn't wipe it away, and then we flew back to the White House".

In contrast, Trump called to comfort Eddie and Aldene Lee about 10 days after their Army son was killed in an explosion while on patrol in Iraq in April.

Trump's response sparked a controversy by questioning the protocol of previous presidents, saying "a lot of them didn't make calls". "Calls were scheduled on Monday to be made on Tuesday".

A White House spokeswoman said on Wednesday the media was advancing a "biased agenda" by following up on the Baldridge story.

"I didn't say what that congresswoman said". His aides said they had been awaiting information before proceeding.

Bohler said Jones-Johnson is an aunt who raised Johnson as her own son. Almost five months later, she said, no letter has arrived.

"Those interactions in some ways I think reveal you for who you are", Holder said. The president, she noted, was offering condolences on behalf of the country. "President Obama called often and President Bush called often".

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