Ex-aides to former President Obama blasted President Trump Monday for claiming that Obama didn’t call the families of U.S. service members who died in combat.


“The traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls,” Trump said at an impromptu press conference in the White House Rose Garden on Monday. “I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it.”

Trump was responding to a question about four Green Berets that were killed in Niger earlier this month.

Several top Obama aides quickly fired back at Trump’s claim on Twitter.

“This is an outrageous and disrespectful lie even by Trump standards,” former Obama foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes said. “Also: Obama never attacked a Gold Star family.”

Former White House communications director and Obama senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer slammed Trump as “a deeply disturbed ignoramus who is a pathological liar,” while former Obama deputy chief of staff for operations Alyssa Mastromonaco called Trump a “deranged animal.” 

When further asked about the claim on Monday, Trump said, “I don’t know if he did.”

“I was told that he didn’t often,” Trump said. “A lot of presidents don’t, they write letters. I do a combination of both.”

Trump later said that he thinks Obama “did sometimes [call], and sometimes he didn’t — I don’t know, that’s what I was told.”