Trump forced to walk back ridiculous falsehood about Obama

Barack Obama after Mr. Trump’s inauguration on January 20. Credit Ruth Fremson  The New York Times

Barack Obama after Mr. Trump’s inauguration on January 20. Credit Ruth Fremson The New York Times

They'd write letters. And some presidents didn't do anything.

On Monday, Mr. Trump said he had written letters to the families of the soldiers over the weekend, which would be mailed later in the day or on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump accused President Barack Obama of failing to call the families of fallen soldiers.

Trump himself has tweeted 67 times about Benghazi, not once about the four soldiers killed in Niger. They've been sent, or they're going out tonight", he said, adding later: "I'm going to be calling them.

"The toughest calls I have to make are the calls where this happens - soldiers are killed". His accusation that most presidents did not call families of military personnel killed in action is provoking a heated response.

Trump's allegation that Obama hadn't made calls was the subject of another question later in the news conference.

Like many Republican politicians competing for the nation's highest office, President Trump spoke highly of the military during his campaign, promising to treat those serving better than any other candidate would do. "But when four troops died in Niger, he went golfing, tweeted about the National Football League, tweeted about ESPN, tweeted about Hillary Clinton, tweeted about Senator Corker's height, and played some more golf", said Iraq War veteran Jon Soltz, the group's chairman. "Troops dying in service to America is a tragedy, and the families of the fallen deserve the comforting words of the Commander in Chief". Others recalled his frequent visits with Gold Star families, and travels to Walter Reed, Dover and other venues with families of the dead and with the wounded.

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Several former aides to President Obama quickly pushed back against Trump's assertion.

Obama foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes tweeted, "This is an outrageous and disrespectful lie even by Trump standards".

TRUMP: I don't know if he did. Trump then attempted to pass the blame to President Obama (#ObamasFault) and every other former President of the United States. The White House press secretary said the administration was still reviewing the circumstances around the mission. This President, like his predecessors, has done each of these. "And he has said many times that it is one of the most hard parts of his job and a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform".

Trump later said that he thinks Obama "did sometimes [call], and sometimes he didn't, I don't know, that's what I was told".

The president then made a decision to brag about how awesome he thinks he is as compared to his predecessors.

George W. Bush also wrote letters to families of troops killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which began during his tenure.

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