The pushback - and the outrage - began immediately.
Mr Trump said in a news conference he had written letters to the families of four soldiers killed in an October 4 ambush in Niger and planned to call them, crediting himself with taking extra steps in honouring the dead properly.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee weighed, asserting the presidents claims are fact.
Several former aides of Obama called Trump a "liar" as soon as he made the comment.. "And what do you have to say about that?"
"I went to Dover AFB with 44 and saw him comfort the families of both the fallen military & DEA".
But as he continued, his response got less clear. "A lot of them didn't make calls". "I will at some point during the period of time call the parents and the families, because I have done that traditionally". "It's a very hard thing".
Then came the moment that is vintage Trump.
It was the deadliest attack on the USA military since he took office in January.
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To this, Rose had tweeted , "GODDAMNIT! Be my voice." She then included the hashtags #RoseArmy and #WhyWomenDon'tReport. Trump spews hate daily and nada.
Reminded that he was brazenly lying, Trump soon after conceded that he didn't know whether Obama called these families or not. The president told Fox News radio host Brian Kilmeade on Tuesday morning that Obama never called Kelly. No, no, no. I was told that he didn't often and a lot of presidents don't. And the mother was very distraught and she's crying and the husband was trying to calm her, and the president was there and he also tried to calm her.
"He asked if the family would like to be contacted and if we'd be available to speak with the president", Will Wright said from Lyons, Georgia, where funeral services for his brother were held Sunday. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, was a lieutenant general at the time. He was posthumously promoted to first lieutenant.
A former spokesman for Obama, Ned Price, said Trump's comment amounted to "inane cruelty" to Kelly.
"I said it very loud and clear yesterday".
Gerald Caskey, whose son, Marine Sgt. Joseph Caskey, 24, of West View, was killed by an IED in Afghanistan in June, 2010, said his family received a letter but no phone call from President Obama after Joseph's death.
He added, "I'm not speaking for other people".
"I don't know if he did", he said of Mr Obama. You could find out easily what President Obama did. I believe his policy was somewhat different than my policy. "Other presidents did not call, they would write letters, and some presidents didn't do anything".
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George W. Bush also wrote letters to families of troops killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which began during his tenure.