Earlier this week, after he falsely claimed that President Barack Obama and other presidents didn’t contact the family members of fallen soldiers, President Donald Trump told a radio host that he should check with John Kelly to see if Obama contacted the retired general after his son was killed in Afghanistan. Shortly after that, a White House official said that Obama didn’t call Kelly following his son’s death.
At today’s White House press briefing, Kelly was brought on to address the press and take questions from reporters.
After somberly detailing the process of fallen soldiers being brought back to the United States, Kelly disclosed that he did tell Trump at one point that Obama didn’t call him. But at the same time, he wanted to note that it wasn’t meant as a criticism of the former president.
“He asked me about previous presidents and I said I could tell you that President Obama — who was my commander in chief when I was on active duty — did not call my family,” he stated. “That was not a criticism. That was just to simply say I don’t believe President Obama called. That’s not a negative thing. I don’t believe President Bush called in all cases. I don’t believe any president particularly when the casualty rates are very, very high that presidents call. I believe they all write.”
He then explained that after he told that to Trump three days ago, the president decided to make phone calls to the families of the four soldiers who were killed in Niger earlier this month. Kelly also noted that the president asked him how to make those calls.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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