President Trump indicated at an impromptu press conference in the White House Rose Garden that former President Obama, and other presidents, didn’t call the families of fallen U.S. service members. The former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, took issue with the president’s statement and fired back at Trump on Twitter.
“POTUS 43 & 44 and first ladies cared deeply, worked tirelessly for the serving, the fallen, and their families,” Dempsey tweeted Monday. “Not politics. Sacred Trust.”
Martin Dempsey is a retired general and served as the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs for four years during the Obama administration.
Trump said this about the presidents before him:
“The traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls,” Trump said. “I like to call when it’s appropriate when I think I’m able to do it.”
Trump was answering a question about four Green Berets that were killed in Niger earlier this month. He has not yet publicly addressed their deaths. When another reporter pressed the president about his claim regarding Obama’s procedure, Trump said, “I don’t know if he did. I was told that he didn’t often.” Trump continued, “A lot of presidents don’t, they write letters. I do a combination of both.” Later the president seemed to fluctuate saying he thinks Obama “did sometimes [call], and sometimes he didn’t, I don’t know, that’s what I was told.”
These comments from Trump drew fire from Obama’s staffers who criticized the president calling him a “pathological liar” and a “deranged animal.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, defended Trump’s words on Monday evening, “The President wasn’t criticizing predecessors, but stating a fact,” she said in a statement. “When American heroes make the ultimate sacrifice, Presidents pay their respects. Sometimes they call, sometimes they send a letter, other times they have the opportunity to meet family members in person. This president, like his predecessors, has done each of these,” she said. “Individuals claiming former Presidents, such as their bosses, called each family of the fallen, are mistaken,” Huckabee said.
Credit: The Hill