President Trump on Monday claimed former President Obama and other past presidents didn't call the families of fallen soldiers.
Trump made the remark after being asked about the four U.S. soldiers killed in Niger last week.
The president said he planned to call the parents and families of those who were killed, something he said he has done "traditionally."
"The toughest calls I have to make are the calls where this happens — soldiers are killed," Trump said.
"It's a very difficult thing. Now it gets to a point where you make four or five of them in one day, it's a very, very tough day. For me that's by far the toughest," he said.
"So 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. I like to call when it's appropriate, when I think I'm able to do it."
Trump's remarks were immediately criticized online, as Obama and other past presidents did make calls to the families of fallen soldiers.
Obama and former President George W. Bush have both described the difficultly in making those calls.
Several former aides of Obama called Trump a liar after he made the comment.
that's a fucking lie. to say president obama (or past presidents) didn't call the family members of soldiers KIA - he's a deranged animal.— Alyssa Mastromonaco (@AlyssaMastro44) October 16, 2017
About 15 minutes later, as the news conference continued, Trump was pressed on his claim and said that he was "told" Obama didn't often call the families of slain soldiers.
"And a lot of presidents don't, they write letters. ... I do a combination of both. Sometimes, it's a very difficult thing to do, but I do a combination of both. President Obama, I think, probably did sometimes, and maybe sometimes he didn't, I don't know, that's what I was told," Trump said.
Trump said again that other presidents did not call.
"And some presidents didn't do anything," he said. "I like, when I can, the combination of a call and also a letter."