Donald Trump is known for lying. Some think that he lies for various reasons, and then his mind is able to do a pretzel and turns the lie into his belief. The lie he told about Gold Star families is one of his most disturbing.
In a radio interview last week, the president claimed that he contacted almost every family of a fallen military members. Yet, a Pentagon email indicated that was wrong. Trump had said in a Fox News Radio interview earlier that day that he had contacted the families of “virtually everybody” in the military who had died since his inauguration.
‘I have called, I believe, everybody — but certainly I’ll use the word virtually everybody.’
An October 17 internal Pentagon email showed that Trump’s top aides knew his statement was wrong. As the news about 45’s lie grew hotter, the stunning information came out that not only did he not contact many of them, he did not even have a current list of military deaths.
Since the man in the Oval Office’s inauguration, 21 military people were killed in action (KIA). Another 44 died in other incidents, including the two Pacific ship collisions. Seventeen sailors died in those incidents last summer.
Within hours, the White House staff called the Defense Secretary’s office to request the names, so that the man in the Oval Office could fix his lie. Executive secretary to Defense Secretary James Mattis, Captain Hallock Mohler, sent the White House an email with a subject line of “Condolence Letters Since 20 January 2017. It contained a list of names, how each member died, and the names of the survivors with their phone numbers.
Mohler’s email to National Security Council aide, Ylber Bajraktari, requesting a list of those names said, according to Roll Call:
‘(Presidential aides) reached out to Ylber looking for the following ASAP from DOD.’
The Associated Press (AP) contacted 20 families and discovered that nine of them heard nothing from the president. It is uncertain how many families Trump contacted after the deplorable news hit the air.
The email between the White House and the Pentagon showed that Trump’s initial statement about contacting virtually all of the Gold Star families was wrong. Instead, we saw a mad scramble to clean up his mess.
One day following the president’s inaccurate statement and when the president’s people belatedly obtained the Gold Star families information from the Pentagon, the White House held a press conference. During it, a reporter questioned Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee, asking if the president had really contacted all of these families. According to the White House, she replied:
‘The president’s made contact with all of the families that have been presented to him through the White House Military Office. All of the individuals that the president has been presented with through the proper protocol have been contacted through that process.’
Roll Call reported that White House spokesperson Raj Shah emailed:
‘The White House ensured that the President had contacted all families of soldiers killed in action that had been presented to him through existing protocols.’
Check out this video of Trump politicizing Gold Star families via YouTube:
Featured Image via Getty Images.