Trump drags John Kelly and slain Marine son into ongoing attacks on Obama over military families
Donald Trump during CNN debate (Photo: Screen capture via video)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday doubled down on his false claim that his predecessors never called the families of soldiers who were killed in combat.


In justifying his remarks, Trump pointed to his chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, as an example of a military parent who never received a phone call from former President Barack Obama. Kelly's son, 29-year-old Marine 1st Lt. Robert Kelly, was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2010.

"You could ask General Kelly if he got a call from Obama," Trump said, according to CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

Trump also admitted that he didn't know precisely what Obama's policy toward calling the families of slain soldiers was.

"I don’t know what Obama’s policy was," he said. "I write letters and I also call. I have called, I believe, everybody."

Trump on Monday claimed that most past presidents had not called the families of fallen soldiers, which drew fierce criticism from aides of former Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, who insisted that both men regularly contacted families of soldiers killed in combat.