Tags: white house | john kelly | gold star families | presidential condolence calls

John Kelly: Presidents Don't Always Call Gold Star Families

(C-SPAN)

By    |   Thursday, 19 October 2017 04:44 PM

An angry and emotional John Kelly, the former Marine general who now serves as White House chief of staff, said Thursday he did not criticize former President Barack Obama for not calling his family when Kelly's son was killed in an Afghanistan firefight seven years ago.

Kelly spoke during the daily White House press briefing and explained the process of what happens to a soldier's body when they are killed on the battlefield, which involves packing the remains on ice two times before arriving at Delaware's Dover Air Force Base. There, the body is embalmed and dressed in the soldier's uniform with medals and service emblems.

Kelly said families of deceased soldiers receive letters from various people in the military and the president. It is also typical for them to receive personal phone calls from soldiers who served with their son or daughter.

"Some presidents have elected to call – all presidents I believe have elected to send letters," Kelly said, his voice cracking several times on the podium. "If you elect to call a family like this, it's about the most difficult thing you can imagine. There's no perfect way to make that phone call. When I took this job and talked to President Trump about how to do it, my first recommendation was he not do it."

Earlier this week, Trump said it was his understanding not all presidents make those phone calls‚ including Obama. Subsequent reports suggested Obama did not call Kelly's family when his son was killed.

"He asked me about previous presidents," Kelly said of his conversation with Trump. "I said I can tell you that president Obama, who was my commander-in-chief when I was on active duty, did not call my family. That was not a criticism. It was just to say that I don't believe President Obama called. That's not a negative thing.

"I don't believe President Bush called in all cases. I don't believe any president, particularly when the casualty rates are very high . . . call. But I believe they all write."

Kelly also spoke about the criticism leveled at Trump by Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., who said his phone call this week to the wife of one of the four soldiers killed in Niger was insensitive. Trump was simply conveying a message of national pride.

"I was stunned when I came to work [Wednesday] morning and brokenhearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing," Kelly said. "A member of Congress who listened in on a phone call from the president of the United States to a young wife."

© 2018 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
White House chief of staff Gen. John Kelly said families of deceased soldiers receive letters from various people in the military and the president. It is also typical for them to receive personal phone calls from soldiers who served with their son or daughter.
white house, john kelly, gold star families, presidential condolence calls
431
2017-44-19
Thursday, 19 October 2017 04:44 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved