Families of Military Fallen Lash Out at Donald Trump Over Claims Other Presidents Didn't Call

Gold Star families are criticizing Trump after he falsely claimed former president Barack Obama failed to contact the families of slain servicemembers

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Family members of fallen soldiers are furiously lashing out at President Donald Trump after he falsely claimed past presidents did not personally reach out to the families of slain service members.

“When my brother was killed, Pres [George W.] Bush listened while I screamed at him & then held me as I sobbed, you fat f—— liar,” Delilia O’Malley tweeted on Monday.

The passionate declaration comes as Trump faces a new wave of criticism after saying at a Monday press conference in the Rose Garden that past presidents — particularly Barack Obama — had never called the families of U.S. servicemen and women who were killed in the line of duty.

“The traditional way if you look at President Obama and the other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls,” he said. “I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it. They made the ultimate sacrifice, so generally I would say that I like to call.”

Trump made the statements after he was asked whether he would call the families of the four U.S. Army special operations commandos killed in an ambush in Niger earlier this month.

He quickly walked back the claim, though, saying, “President Obama, I think probably did sometimes, and maybe sometimes he didn’t.”

The damage was already done. Soon, grieving family members of fallen soldiers condemned Trump on social media. One person wrote: “I am a Gold Star mom and a disabled vet. Trump does not speak for me and did not speak for my son. He is an embarrassment.”

The term “Gold Star” is used in military circles to describe someone who lost a loved one in the military.

Another added: “I am gold star Mom and, I’ve never in my life felt so much hatred as I do towards this troll in the Oval Office.”

One woman, who described herself as a “Gold Star wife,” tweeted that she received a condolence letter from Obama.

“[Trump] is a disgrace, a liar, a petulant child,” she added.

As Trump’s claims made headlines, former Obama aides were quick to dispel the “outrageous and disrespectful lie.” Many told the Washington Post that the former president usually wrote letters or made base visits in which he met with families.

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Former White House defense secretary and chief of staff Leon Panetta said that Obama made calls to families in 2011 after 30 soldiers died in a helicopter explosion in Afghanistan – Obama and Panetta flew to the Delaware air force base to meet with families as the soldiers’ remains were delivered home, the Post reports.

“Stop the damn lying — you’re the president,” former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted alongside a photo of himself and Obama with a trio of soldiers. “I went to Dover AFB with [Obama] and saw him comfort the families of both the fallen military & DEA.”

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