John Kelly: Presidents Don't Always Call Gold Star Families

John Kelly

He said that Trump chose to call the family members of four service members fallen in Niger.

Kelly also described how families are notified when a service member is killed, saying an officer is dispatched to the family's home early in the morning, waits for the first light to come on and then knocks on the door to deliver the devastating news. He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1%. Kelly then said he was so distraught by the whole controversy that he took a walk in Arlington Cemetery while wrapping his head around the situation. And when he died, the four cases in Niger and my son's case in Afghanistan, he died surrounding by the best men on this earth, his friends.

After one slain soldier's father accused the president of going back on a promise to send a check for $25,000, the White House said the money had been sent.

Rep. Frederica Wilson told CNN Tuesday evening that President Trump told the widow that her husband "knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt".

"It stuns me that a member of Congress listened into that conversation", Mr Kelly said. La David T. Johnson. Wilson, who was in the vehicle with Johnson and could hear the conversation on speaker phone, swears she heard Trump tell the widow that her husband knew "what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurts".

Trump denied Wilson's account in both a tweet and a statement made at the White House.

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"You could ask General Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?" "Because it's not the phone call that parents, family members are looking forward to". "If you elect to call a family like this, it's about the most hard thing you can imagine".

In fact, Kelly said he advised Trump not to phone the families of fallen soldiers because "if you're not in the family, if you've never worn the uniform, if you're not in combat, you can't even begin to imagine how to make that call". "There is no flawless way to make that phone call".

"And [Trump] said to me, what do I say?"

The back-and-forth is the product of an episode from earlier this week, when a reporter asked Trump at a Monday press conference why he had not publicly mentioned the soldiers killed in the Niger ambush.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article indicated Trump had called the fallen soldier's mother. Kelly added that he had recommended to Trump that he not make such calls.

Wilson, who mentored the fallen soldier when he was younger, said she was riding in the vehicle with Myeshia, who was on her way to the airport to receive her husband's body, when Trump called.

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