- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 17, 2017

President Trump on Tuesday walked back some of his words about Gold Star families, saying he “doesn’t know” what other presidents have done.

“I think I’ve called every family of somebody who has died,” Mr. Trump said on Fox News Radio’s “The Brian Kilmeade Show.”

“As far as other representatives, I don’t know,” he said. “You could ask Gen. Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?”

Mr. Trump was referring to former Gen. John Kelly, who currently serves as the president’s chief of staff. Mr. Kelly’s son, Lt. Robert Kelly, was killed by an explosive in Afghanistan in 2010.

His comments follow an exchange Monday at a press conference in the Rose Garden when Mr. Trump claimed past presidents did not make calls to Gold Star families.

“If you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls — a lot of them didn’t make calls — I like to make calls when it’s appropriate,” he said at Monday’s event.

The president was answering a question about why he had yet to address the fatalities of U.S. troops in Niger. The troops were conducting military operations in the region as part of the war on extremist groups in Africa when they were ambushed, according to an NBC News report.

The president started to walk back his claim at the press event as well.

“President Obama, I think probably did sometimes, and maybe sometimes he didn’t. I don’t know. That’s what I was told,” he said when asked by reporters to follow up on his claim.

He also said on “The Brian Kilmeade Show” that he couldn’t definitively say that he had called every family, he’s called “virtually” everyone.

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