President Donald Trump addressed the killing of four US Green Berets in Niger for the first time on Monday, saying that he has written and will call the soldiers’ families.
“I’ve written them personal letters. They have been sent or they’re going out tonight,” Trump said during a press conference. “I will at some point … call the parents and families.”
“President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls,” Trump added. “I call when it’s appropriate.”
The four Green Berets were killed on October 4 when a joint patrol consisting of US and Nigerien forces was leaving a meeting with tribal leaders in trucks.
They were ambushed by 40 to 50 militants in vehicles and on motorcycles. Eight Nigerien soldiers and two US troops were also wounded.
Members of the Obama administration were quick to say that Obama did call the families of soldiers killed during his time in office, referred to as Gold Star families.
In 2012, there was a rumour that Obama signed letters to Gold Star families with an auto pen, for which Trump criticised the former president on Twitter.
“Too busy playing golf?” Trump tweeted.
Obama’s administration, however, denied the accusation.
“The President personally signs every letter to the families of fallen service members in Iraq and Afghanistan,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said at the time. “And he has said many times that it is one of the most difficult parts of his job and a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform.”
By the end of August, Trump had also taken three times more leisure time than Obama had, according to The Washington Post, and he had also played golf seven more times than Obama, according to PolitiFact.
Watch Trump’s full comments below.
that’s a fucking lie. to say president obama (or past presidents) didn’t call the family members of soldiers KIA – he’s a deranged animal.
— Alyssa Mastromonaco (@AlyssaMastro44) October 16, 2017
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