- The Washington Times - Friday, October 20, 2017

President Trump’s son and daughter-in-law said Friday Chief of Staff John Kelly thought the controversy surrounding Gold Star families was “disgusting.”

“He was upset when my father was criticized. I think he came to my father’s defense in a very big way because I think he thought it was disgusting,” Eric Trump said on Fox News.

Mr. Trump was referring to the controversy surrounding the president’s comments that he called Gold Star families, those who have lost someone in combat, while other presidents did not.

President Trump referenced Mr. Kelly, a retired general, in his remarks on a radio program saying Mr. Kelly could say whether he received a phone call from former President Barack Obama when his son was killed.

Mr. Kelly lost his son, Robert Kelly, in Afghanistan in 2010.

“My father-in-law is the biggest champion of the military there is, and we all in this country love and respect our military and no one more so than the president,” Lara Trump, Eric’s wife, said on Fox News.

Controversy continued to grow during the course of the week with Rep. Frederica Wilson accusing Mr. Trump of telling Myeshia Johnson, the wife of Sgt. La David Johnson who was killed last week in an ambush attack in Niger, that he “knew what he signed up for, but when it happens it hurts anyway.”

Mr. Kelly addressed the comments Thursday in the White House briefing room slamming Mrs. Wilson, Florida Democrat, for politicizing a family’s tragedy.

“It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation — absolutely stuns me,” Mr. Kelly said.

“He probably, more so than any person in the world, understands that true pain and sorrow and what the person on the other end of the telephone was going through at that moment,” Mr. Trump added.

S.A. Miller contributed to this article.

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