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Trump defends claim over fallen soldiers

Washington, Oct 18 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has defended the claim that his predecessors did not properly console families of the slain soldiers.

“For the most part, to the best of my knowledge, I think I’ve called every family of somebody that’s died, and it’s the hardest call to make,” Xinhua quoted Trump as saying during an interview with Fox News radio host Brian Kilmeade.

“As far as other representatives, I don’t know, I mean you could ask General Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?” he added while invoking the death of the son of White House chief of staff John Kelly.

Kelly’s son, Marine Corps Lieutenant Robert Kelly, was killed by a landmine in Afghanistan in late 2010.

Kelly, former Secretary of Homeland Security for the Trump administration, was appointed in late July to replace Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff.

A White House official said Kelly did not receive a call from then President Barack Obama at that time, but Obama hosted a breakfast in May 2011 for Gold Star families, attended by Kelly and his wife.

“You could ask other people. I don’t know what Obama’s policy was,” Trump said.

“I write letters and I also call. I really speak for myself. I don’t know what Bush did. I don’t know what Obama did.”

The President’s comments came after he said during a White House press conference on Monday that most of his predecessors, including Obama, did not call the families of fallen service members.

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