NPR

'Trump's Claim Is Wrong': Comments On Presidents' Calls To Military Families Rebutted

Defending his lack of response to the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Niger, Trump claimed "a lot of" past presidents did not call families after a death. He raised the example of his chief of staff's son.
President Trump participates in a series of radio interviews in the Indian Treaty Room of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Tuesday. Among the topics he discussed was his and past presidents' policies on reaching out to families of service members who have died. / Pool / Getty Images

Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET

The pushback — and the outrage — began immediately.

Trump was asked on Monday why he had not yet commented on the deaths of four U.S. soldiers who were ambushed during a mission in Niger on Oct. 4. In his answer, Trump turned attention to the policies of past presidents and their contact with families of service members who have died.

On Tuesday, he followed his initial comments with more assertions, offering a specific example. That prompted further rebuttal from staff of previous administrations.

But first, on Monday, a reporter had asked Trump: "Why haven't we heard anything from you so far

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min readPolitics
Opinion: Diplomats Called 'Deep State' Insiders Were Outsiders Fleeing Oppression
NPR's Scott Simon examines the personal experiences of the three U.S. career diplomats who have testified this week in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
NPR5 min read
Budding Hemp Farmers Struggle To Find Success In The 'Green Rush'
CBD products are found everywhere from gas stations to drugstores. A record number of farmers are growing hemp for CBD this year, but making money has proved challenging.
NPR4 min read
In 'Christmas In Austin,' Family Struggles Are A Gift To Readers
In Benjamin Markovits' new novel, a far-flung family reunites in their home town of Austin for Christmas, bringing all their baggage. And while it's an emotional book, it never descends into pathos.