White House defends Trump decision to mention chief-of-staff's son in Niger soldier statement

White House defends Trump decision to mention chief-of-staff's son in Niger soldier statement

The decision by the President to mention John Kelly's son in defending his actions has been heavily criticised

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The White House has issued a statement to defend Donald Trump mentioning the death of his chief of staff's son to defend his actions. 

The US President has been weathering criticism over his failure to contact the families of soldiers killed in Niger on October 4. 

In defending himself, Trump said previous presidents like Barack Obama hadn't always called the families to pay their respects, mentioning John Kelly's son Robert - who was killed in action in Afghanistan - by name. 

The mention provoked an immediate backlash, including blistering condemnation from Anderson Cooper. 

Now, the White House has released a statement to defend the president's decision.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, said Kelly was more disgusted by the shift in focus onto the process of calling grieving families over the loss of life. 

Obama didn't call the Kelly family at the time of Robert's death, but did later invite them to a breakfast for fallen soldiers.

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