Asked about four fallen troops, Trump only talked about how hard it is for him to call the families. CNN's Barbara Starr reminded him that it's supposed to be.
CNN’s Pentagon reporter Barbara Starr delivered a necessary rebuke to Donald Trump after he complained that contacting and consoling families of fallen U.S. troops is difficult for him to do.
Asked why it had been nearly two weeks and Trump still had not mentioned the four U.S. troops killed in an ISIS ambush in Niger, let alone contacted their families, Trump only said, “It gets to a point where, you know, you make four or five of them in one day, it’s a very, very tough day.”
Tuesday, Starr provided the succinct reply: “You send troops into combat as the commander in chief, it is supposed to be tough.”
Trump claimed he wrote letters to the families over the weekend and that they would be sent out in a “a day or two.” But prior to the questions from the press Monday, Trump had not mentioned the soldiers’ deaths or honored their sacrifice.
Speaking with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Starr stressed that however “tough” making those calls is for Trump, it is infinitely worse for families to be notified that their loved ones have been killed in action.
“The president talked about it being tough on him. Well, you know, it is tough on the families,” she stated.
CUOMO: Barbara, what is the Pentagon saying about what happened to these men in Niger?
STARR: Well, let’s be very clear. 12 days later, 13 days later, they don’t know, and that is a big problem. There is an investigation under way to find out how this firefight erupted. Was there bad intelligence? Was this a failed mission?
But it comes right back, Chris, to what you were saying about the families of the fallen. I want you to look at the picture on your far right there. Sergeant La David Johnson, 25 years old. His body was left out for 48 hours before anybody could go back and get it.
How does a man get left behind? This is the big question that the military has to answer now. The president talked about it being tough on him. Well, you know, it is tough on the families.
Sergeant La David Johnson, 25 years old, leaves behind a young widow, two children, a third on the way. This young man, we now know, he worked at Walmart at the produce counter, before he found the U.S. Army and found his career and his way ahead in the U.S. Army. He rode his bicycle to work every day at the produce counter at Walmart.
What is tough, tough on the president, it is now very tough on this young widow, trying to raise three children and all the families of the fallen.
In an effort to make himself look better, Trump lied about President Barack Obama, claiming that he had failed to contact families whose sons and daughters were killed in action. And Tuesday, Trump even tried to bring his chief of staff’s dead son into the mushrooming controversy.
But none of his lies or complaints will serve to distract people from this latest repugnant example of Trump’s utter failure to properly fulfill his role as commander in chief.