President Donald Trump took some criticism for a claim he made during a Rose Garden speech on Monday — that he didn’t believe former President Barack Obama had made phone calls to the families of fallen soldiers.
Former Obama staffers weighed in:
This is an outrageous and disrespectful lie even by Trump standards. Also: Obama never attacked a Gold Star family. https://t.co/JgzTUIzWIa
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) October 16, 2017
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
And they were not the only ones triggered, either:
And that’s BEFORE his baldface lie today that President Obama and other actual presidents never called the families of the fallen.
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) October 16, 2017
— Colette (@CatholicGirl15) October 17, 2017
‘Categorically false’: MSNBC’s Katy Tur smacks down Trump lie that Obama never called soldiers’ families https://t.co/8shTijUTQk
— Raw Story (@RawStory) October 16, 2017
Trump said, “I heard Obama never called to console grieving families of fallen soldiers” U know where he heard this? Inside his sick head.
— carl reiner (@carlreiner) October 17, 2017
Trump, when pressed, walked the statement back slightly:
Trump’s first statement (that Obama NEVER called soldier’s families) is false. But his revised statement (he “didn’t often”) is true.
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) October 16, 2017
And that’s when The Washington Post did a fact-check…
From our perusal of news reports and news databases, we could not find any contemporaneous evidence that Obama spoke about such calls or that the White House announced he had called families.
The Post was quick to note that Obama had, on several occasions, met with the families of fallen soldiers — something that Trump has also done — and sent out letters.
While several members of the administration said they “recalled” such phone calls, no records were found. The Post did, however, find a record of one soldier, Sgt. Sean Collins:
Still, in early 2011, the family of one fallen soldier, Sgt. Sean Collins, told Fox News they had requested a call from Obama and were told his schedule was too packed for a conversation.