President Trump invited scrutiny of his condolences after erroneously claiming Monday that presidents before him did not call the bereaved families of fallen troops. "I think I've called every family of someone who's died," Trump said, although The Associated Press found that isn't true.
Critics reacted to Trump's statements as going a step too far, especially after the president reignited the controversy Tuesday by telling Fox News: "You could ask General [John] Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?"
"I just wish that this commander in chief would stop using Gold Star families as pawns in whatever sick game he's trying to play here," said Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), an Iraq War veteran.
Trump has also been criticized for how he's handled phone calls to grieving families, with a Democratic congresswoman reporting Wednesday that the president made the widow of Army Sgt. La David Terrence Johnson break down in tears. The wife, Myeshia Johnson, reportedly told Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) that Trump "didn't even know" her husband's name. Jeva Lange
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized Sgt. La David T. Johnson's Army role. It has since been corrected. We regret the error.