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Trump politicises troops’ deaths, claims former presidents didn’t call kin but he will

Aides of Barack Obama hit back at the US President, calling him a liar, following which Trump reeled back.

world Updated: Oct 17, 2017 10:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Washington
Donald Trump,soldiers,Presidents
US President Donald Trump said he would be calling families of fallen soldiers when appropriate.(Reuters)

US President Donald Trump stirred up another controversy on Monday by claiming that his predecessors did not call the families of fallen soldiers, while trying to deflect criticism for his delay in paying tributes to four American soldiers killed in Niger, Africa, two weeks back.

“If you look at (former) president (Barack) Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls. A lot of them didn’t make calls,” Trump told reporters when asked why he had not commented yet.

“I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it. They have made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.

Aides of Obama hit back even before Trump had moved to the next question.

“That’s a f…… lie,” wrote Alyssa Mastromonaco , a former deputy chief of staff to Obama, on Twitter, “to say president Obama (or past presidents) didn’t call the family members of soldiers KIA (killed in action).”

Trump reeled himself back a little later, in response to another question, claiming that he didn’t know, but had been told something to that effect, deploying a well-recognisable Trumpian parachute for him to bail out of problematic situations created by his tendency to fly loose with facts.

“So, generally, I would say that I like to call,” he pushed on, unmindful of the import of his sweeping denunciation of the previous occupants of the White House, including those from his own party. “I’m going to be calling them. I want a little time to pass. I’m going to be calling them. I have, as you know, since I’ve been President, I have.”

First Published: Oct 17, 2017 10:02 IST