Trump cites chief-of-staff Kelly's dead son to attack Obama

President Trump with Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell in the Rose Garden

"I mean, you could ask Gen. Kelly did he get a call from Obama".

While the White House didn't disclose exactly which official was smearing Obama, Steven Perlberg of BuzzFeed later reported that Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was one of the officials confirming on background that Obama hadn't called Kelly.

"If you look at President Obama and other presidents, majority didn't make calls - a lot of them didn't make calls", Trump said on Monday during a Rose Garden press conference when asked about four soldiers killed in Niger earlier this month.

"The traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, majority didn't make calls, a lot of them didn't make calls", Trump said when asked about the four Green Berets killed earlier this month in Niger.

"I write letters and I also call", Trump said of himself.

David Axelrod, a senior adviser to Obama, said, "I don't recall anything moving him more".

Alyssa Mastromonaco, the former Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, cast Trump's statement as a "lie" and called the President "a deranged aninmal".

"President Obama I think probably did sometimes and maybe sometimes he didn't", Trump said.

Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, now Trump's chief of staff, lost his son in Afghanistan in November 2010.

"I don't know if he did", the president said.

In an impromptu and free-wheeling press conference on Monday, the US President was asked about the four US soldiers killed in Niger last week.

Mr Souza, who left the White House this January when Mr Trump assumed the presidency, said Mr Obama was also known for making monthly visits to Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre in Bethesda, Maryland, to visit wounded soldiers. I don't know what (George W) Bush did.

Another noted that Obama had written thousands of letters and made hundreds of calls to Gold Star families.

Obama's former aides were quick to lash back.

While the Trump administration enlisted media outlets in its attempt to convince the public that Obama had disrespected Kelly following his son's death, a person familiar with the situation told reporters on Tuesday that Kelly and his wife sat at First Lady Michelle Obama's table during a White House breakfast honoring Gold Star Families in 2011.

In his answer, Trump turned attention to the policies of past presidents and their contact with families of service members who have died. "I like, when I can, the combination of a call and also a letter".

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".

"I will, at some point during the period of time, call the parents and the families - because I have done that, traditionally", he added. "That's what I was told. All I can do is ask my generals". "The hardest thing for me to do is do that", Trump said Tuesday morning during an interview with Fox News radio host Brian Kilmeade.

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