John Kelly’s disgust with Trump’s use of his son as a prop in an attempt to tarnish Obama’s name barely hides the fact that he is less than pleased with the president.
Earlier this week, Trump criticised Obama for not calling to give his condolences to the families of fallen soldiers, a sharp contrast to Stephanie Fisher’s experience following the death of her son. Staff Sgt Thomas Kent Fogarty, a father of two, was killed in Afghanistan in 2012 by an improvised explosive device.
“I was very comforted. I actually felt like I could have picked up the phone and said ‘look, my son died … and I need to talk to President Obama.’ I kind of feel like I might have been able to get a hold of him,” Fisher said. “I felt like my son got lots of respect.”
Fisher went on to defend Obama’s efforts, dismissing Trump’s false claims, “Obama’s administration seemed to me to be very much engaged with the families,” she said. “Constantly, everything that he gets criticised for, President Trump, he immediately puts it on previous presidents, especially President Obama. He misses no opportunity to deflect.”
When asked about his silence regarding the four special forces soldiers killed during an ambush in Niger on 4 October during a news conference, Trump answered, “If you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls. A lot of them didn’t make calls”.
When questioned, he modified that claim: “President Obama, I think, probably did sometimes, and maybe sometimes he didn’t. I don’t know. That’s what I was told.”
Despite Obama’s religiously-written letters to the families of slain soldiers, Trump made it clear that he believed the former president disrespected families through his lack of personal effort.
What’s Happening Now:
On Tuesday, the President attempted to take another stab at Obama by furthering his claim that his predecessor didn’t put much effort into consoling the families of fallen soldiers.
“I don’t know what Bush did. I don’t know what Obama did.” Trump told Fox News Radio, suggesting that Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, should be asked if he received a call from Obama after his son died in Afghanistan in 2010.
John F. Kelly’s son, First Lieutenant Robert Kelly was on his third combat tour when he was killed in action in 2010. The 29-year-old stepped on a landmine while leading a platoon on a patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan on his first tour as a US Marine Corps Infantry Officer.
The death of Kelly’s son made him the highest-ranking military officer to lose a child in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Obama and Bush supporters alike jumped to defend the former presidents and their efforts, retired general Martin Dempsey, a former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, took to Twitter to say that Obama, Bush “and first ladies cared deeply, worked tirelessly for the serving, the fallen, and their families. Not politics. Sacred Trust.”
As it turns out, Obama, in fact, didn’t call Kelly- instead he invited him to a White House breakfast dedicated to the families of fallen servicemen and women- an even higher honor.
The White House jumped to defend Trump’s honor from the backlash in response to his insensitive comments.
Cherry-picking the fact that it was Trump himself who politicized the deaths of fallen soldiers, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “I think that General Kelly is disgusted by the way that this has been politicized and that the focus has become on the process and not the fact that American lives were lost.”
H/T: Washington Examiner