Donald Trump faces backlash for not calling families of soldiers killed in Niger

Donald Trump faces backlash over not calling families of soldiers killed in Niger

The US President defended himself by saying other presidents hadn't called families before

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Donald Trump has defended his delay in calling the families of soldiers killed in Niger. 

The four soldiers died on October 4 in an ambush conducted by up to 50 fighters believed to be affliated with Islamic State. 

The US President gave an impromptu press conference at the White House, where he commented on the situation. 

Trump said he had written personal letters to the families, and said he had planned to call them as well.

However he also defended his wait to get in touch via telephone, saying he preferred to wait until it was "appropriate."

Trump then claimed that his predecessor, Barack Obama, and other previous presidents had not called the victims at all. 

This remark has drawn criticism of the US President, with the critics pointing out that Obama and other presidents did in fact call families of soldiers killed in action. 

Alyssa Mastromonaco, the former White House deputy chief of staff, blasted this as a lie and called Trump a "deranged animal" on Twitter. 

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, later attempted to clarify Trump's remarks, saying the President had said his predecessors didn't always call the families of killed solders.