The news for the past several days has been filled with Trump's claims that many of his predecessors, including Barack Obama, failed to contact the families of soldiers killed in action, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
This week has since seen allegations that Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson overheard Trump telling the wife of Sgt. La David Johnson, a fallen soldier killed in the recent ambush in Niger, that "he knew what he signed up for ... but when it happens, it hurts anyway." Wilson also claims that Trump didn't know Johnson's name, and that his Johnson's widow "broke down" immediately after the call.
Trump has fiercely denied the claims, both on Twitter and during a meeting in the Cabinet Room, saying, "I didn't say what that congresswoman said. Didn't say it at all. She knows it. And she now is not saying it. I did not say what she said."
President Trump: "I didn't say what that congresswoman said. I didn't say it at all. She knows it. And she now is n… https://t.co/PowpWsklqj— CSPAN (@CSPAN)1508342469.0
Trump also claimed to have "proof" that Wilson was lying:
Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1508325924.0
No proof has been brought forth by Trump, and Cowanda Jones-Johnson, a family member of Sgt. Johnson, corroborated Wilson's versions of events as "very accurate," as she was in the car at the time of the call.
Another news story about Trump promising the family of fallen soldier Army Sgt. Dillon Baldridge, who was killed in Afghanistan, a check for $25,000 after they spoke over the summer made waves this weeks. The family claimed that they never got the check. Soon after, the White House confirmed that "the check has been sent."
But now, the AP has published a report alleging that Trump's claims of calling all of these Gold Star families are completely false.
The report says: "The Associated Press tried to reach the families of all 43 people who have died in military service since Trump became president and made contact with about 20 families. More than half said they had not heard from Trump."
AP has found at least 9 Gold Star families have not heard from Trump. https://t.co/XfS42f6EMl— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin)1508420300.0
In one instance, the family of U.S. Army Specialist Isiah Booker didn't expect a call, since Booker was killed in an accident in Syria in early January, and not in combat. They did, however, receive a letter of condolence from both Obama and Trump. But no calls. When asked if the family would have wanted a call from Trump, Booker's mother, Chereisa Booker, told the AP "not really."
But that isn't the case for Sheila Murphy, whose son, Army Spc. Etienne J. Murphy, was killed when the armored vehicle he was riding in rolled over on May 26 in Syria. Murphy is still waiting to hear from Trump. "Because it was noncombat, I feel like maybe he thought it was an accident, it doesn’t matter," she said. "But my son was in Syria."
Murphy reached out to Trump six weeks ago, expressing her grief and desire for a letter, but has heard nothing back.
Many on Twitter are outraged by the report, for multiple reasons:
@PKolbenschlag @kylegriffin1 Huckabee Sanders says it's not Trump's fault, though. So there's, um, that.— Eric Johnson (@Eric Johnson)1508421293.0
@peaksoil @PKolbenschlag @kylegriffin1 Exactly my thoughts the entire time I watched it. "Screw you guys, I'm going home."— Andrew (@Andrew)1508422768.0
@leeglebeagle @kylegriffin1 It is beyond weird & so insulting to the other families. I wonder if the @GOP will use… https://t.co/JiDH9U4e2P— #25thAmendmentNOW (@#25thAmendmentNOW)1508420839.0
But, sadly, it's what we've come to expect from the Trump administration:
@TopRopeTravis @kylegriffin1 #notshocked— Hope for the future (@Hope for the future)1508421063.0
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