Trump himself failed to support his own assertion later in the press conference, when he was asked how he could claim to know whether Obama did or did not call grieving military families.
During a press briefing earlier on Monday, Trump claimed that Obama did not call the families of fallen soldiers as president.
"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. "A lot of them didn't make calls", Mr Trump had said. I don't know what Bush did, I don't know what Obama did.
Trump offered no evidence to back up his claim on Monday, which was immediately pointed out to be false. "Obama and other presidents" most certainly made calls.
Trump plans working visit to the United Kingdom in early 2018
Watch: King Felipe of Spain is welcomed by Queen Elizabeth II during a State Visit this year. Donald Trump's upcoming visit to the United Kingdom has allegedly been downgraded.
But I do know the memory of 1st Lt. Robert Michael Kelly doesn't deserve to be treated as a partisan prop by a draft-dodging amateur whose profound insecurities overrides any sense of moral judgment he has left.
"Most every family was just delighted that the president was there and so honored that the commander in chief would stop by". So, generally I would say I would like to call.
Trump's remarks Monday marked the first time he's commented at all - in person or on Twitter - about the Green Berets and U.S. support personnel who were slain around the October 4 raid.
Trump said Monday that he had drafted personal letters to the family over the weekend that had either "been sent or they're going out tonight".
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CBS affiliate WWL-TV reported that the Coast Guard New Orleans Division sent a small boat and helicopter to the scene. The explosion was in Jefferson Parish water, but the rig itself is located in unincorporated Jefferson Parish.
Obama's office did not respond to a request for comment.
On Tuesday, George W. Bush's spokesman wrote in an email, "I don't have a statement from President Bush; I can only confirm that of course he wrote, called, and visited privately with hundreds if not thousands of families of the fallen".
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushed back against nearly universal condemnation of President Donald Trump's smear of previous presidents not speaking with the families of fallen soldiers, saying the president was "Just stating a fact".
"This is an outrageous and disrespectful lie even by Trump standards", Benjamin J. Rhodes, a former deputy national security adviser to Obama, posted on Twitter. As a former White House chief of staff under Bill Clinton, Panetta said: "I suspect some staff members did not get letters 1/8about Niger3/8 to the president as quickly as possible". I am not speaking for other people. "All I can do is ask my generals".
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According to the National Portrait Gallery's website , the former president tapped renowned New York-based artist Kehinde Wiley . Barack Obama has selected Kehinde Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait, the Smithsonian has announced.
A White House official later told NBC News that Obama did not call Kelly when his son was killed in 2010 - but it wasn't clear if the president had written to him or called or written the younger Kelly's widow.