Although there are more pressing issues in the real world than proving which president is better than the other, such is very much not the case in Donald Trump’s world.
While speaking at a Monday press conference alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Trump insisted that his predecessors rarely had, if ever, called the families of fallen soldiers. He asserted as such while answering the question of why he had not called the families of four U.S. soldiers who were recently killed in Niger.
That assertion is false, even though Trump was happy to fling it around while trying to defend himself for not having called the fallen soldiers’ families for 12 days.
On Tuesday, in a Fox News Radio interview with Brian Kilmeade, Trump pretended as though he hadn’t lied about past presidents, opting yet again to focus on his public image over actual human issues.
After claiming that he has “called every family of someone that’s died,” Trump said:
‘Now as far as other representatives, I mean I don’t know. You could ask Gen. Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?… I don’t know what Obama’s policy was. I write letters, and I also call.’
The retired Gen. John Kelly was brought on to serve as Trump’s Chief of Staff after the abrupt departure of former RNC head Reince Priebus. There have been reports — reports that Kelly has unsurprisingly publicly shot down — that he is dissatisfied and in over his head. Trump dragging him into his latest public relations debacle isn’t likely to make Kelly feel like staying around.
Kelly’s son was killed in Afghanistan back in 2010 after stepping on a landmine. Kelly, at the time, was serving as a lieutenant general.
NBC News reported that an anonymous White House official told them that President Obama didn’t, in fact, call Gen. Kelly after his son’s death, but that’s effectively irrelevant here. The important question is what happened to the four soldiers killed recently in Niger and how the president is responding to their death. Trump, however, prefers to pivot away from the actual important things and focus on these issues of public image.
Watch the NBC News report on Trump’s comments below.