WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's suggestion that his predecessors fell short in honoring the nation's fallen (all times local):
White House visitor records from former President Barack Obama's term show that he hosted current White House chief of staff John Kelly at a breakfast for Gold Star families after his son died in Afghanistan.
In a Fox News Radio interview, President Donald Trump defended his claim that his predecessors fell short in honoring those killed in action by saying: "You could ask Gen. Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?"
Former aides to Obama say it's difficult this many years later to determine whether Obama called Kelly and when.
The breakfast for relatives of U.S. troops killed in action occurred in May 2011, six months after Kelly's son died. An individual familiar with the breakfast for families of says that Kelly and his wife sat at former first lady Michelle Obama's table. The individual demanded anonymity because the event was private.
— By Josh Lederman
President Donald Trump's suggestion that his predecessors fell short in sufficiently in honoring the nation's fallen has brought a visceral reaction from those who witnessed those grieving encounters.
Trump said in a news conference Monday that he'd written letters to the families of four soldiers killed in an Oct. 4 ambush in Niger and planned to call them, crediting himself with taking extra steps in honoring the dead properly. "Most of them didn't make calls," he said of his predecessors.
The record is plain that presidents have long reached out to families of the dead and to the wounded in defense of America, often with their presence as well as by letter and phone. This is true of former presidents such as Barack Obama, George W. Bush and others.