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24 October 2017, 12:46 | Floyd Cook
President Donald Trump speaking in the Rose Garden on Tuesday
The controversy began when the US President falsely claimed his predecessor, Barack Obama, did not contact the families of US troops killed in the line of duty. "We don't look down upon those of you who haven't served", he said.
Mr Trump made the claims in response to questions about why he had not publicly spoken about the killing of the United States soldiers in Niger two weeks ago.
"The only thing I could do to collect my thoughts was to go and walk among the finest men and women on this Earth, and you can always find them, because they're in Arlington National Cemetery".
Kelly had not known that Trump was going to discuss his son publicly.
Asked Friday if it was, indeed, inappropriate to debate with a general, Graham said, "No, not in America".
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on October 20 defended Chief of Staff John F. Kelly's attacks on Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) and called it "highly inappropriate" to debate with "a four-star Marine general". "And they have spoken several times". Sanders was asked whether Kelly stood by his comments in light of that footage.
Despite Mr Trump's boast that he calls all or almost all military families when they lose a loved one, relatives of at least a half dozen people who died in military service since he became President have said they never got a call from him about their loss.
Meanwhile, Trump lashed out overnight at Wilson again.
"If you're not in the family, if you've never worn the uniform, if you've never been in combat, you can't even imagine how to make that call", Kelly said, adding, "He called four people the other day and expressed his condolences in the best way that he could".
Relatives of two soldiers also confirmed they did not get letters. "She said, 'The dog can bark at the moon all night long, but it doesn't become an issue until the moon barks back'".
First, the Department of Defence notifies the next of kin. Now we have a sense of what military discipline in the White House sounds like. Once done, the president reaches out to the family. He said the respect given to Gold Star families "left in the convention over the summer", an apparent reference to the bitter election exchanges between the Trump campaign and a family whose military son had been killed.
Accusing her of being an "empty barrel", Kelly said Wilson focused more on her own actions than the heroism of the two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents for whom the new building had been named.
Kelly, who lost a son in Afghanistan, gave a very moving and telling press conference on Thursday regarding what Trump said to Myeshia Johnson, who is the widow of the fallen soldier, U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson after she put the call on speakerphone.
The uproar over Trump and how presidents should or shouldn't try to console families of the fallen has rattled the White House and overshadowed the rest of Trump's agenda in recent days.
"That is insane that I got [the money] and Mr. Obama just gave it to me", Wilson told the paper. "Did not say what the congresswoman said", he added. "That building was funded long before I got to Congress".
The serviceman's mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, said on Wednesday that the congresswoman's account was correct. "Once that process is completed, the president or other members of the administration can engage in contact", she said.
Mr. Kelly also had harsh words for Ms. Wilson and accused her of turning Sergeant Johnson's death into a political stunt.
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