Gold Star widow: White House said Trump would call but he never did

The wife of a U.S. Army sergeant who died in combat in Afghanistan said Wednesday that the White House told her to expect a call from President Trump, but the call never came.

Whitney Hunter, who lost her husband, Jonathan Hunter, to a car bomb attack in Kandahar in August, praised Vice President Pence for meeting with her personally at Dover Air Force base.

“I was extremely honored to have had Vice President Pence there,” Hunter told CNN. “He spent a great deal of time talking to me and it wasn't an uncomfortable type of thing. He really was just a very genuine human being and he shared his condolences and he talked to me like he knew me forever so it meant a lot to have him there.”


Hunter says that the White House later told her casualty officer that Trump would be calling in the next few days, but the call never came.

“[My casualty officer] was told that I needed to be by my phone for the next few days because the president would be calling me to express his condolences on behalf of the nation and I just — I never received the phone call,” Hunter said.

Instead, Hunter says she received a presidential certificate that had been signed by Trump.

“It would have been a tremendous honor to have heard that directly from the president,” she added.

“I don't have anything negative to say directly about the president, but my husband died for our country," she said. "He died for our nation in defense of our nation and I don't want that to have been in vain or to have been — I don't want it to be taken for granted and I don't have anything negative to say about our president but I do know the difference between right and wrong. And whenever you say you're going to do something, you're supposed to do it.”

Trump has been embroiled in controversy since claiming that Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaActivist: Focusing on state-level politics can help Democrats beat GOP gerrymandering Press: Trumpism takes a thumping The Memo: Dem hopes for 2020 grow in midterms afterglow MORE and other former presidents didn’t always call the families of U.S. military personnel who died in battle.

The claim set off a round of fact-checking by media outlets that have turned up some families that Trump either has not contacted or took several weeks to reach out to.

On Wednesday, Rep. Fredrica Wilson (D-Fla.) said she was in a car when Trump called Myeshia Johnson, the widow of slain Army Sgt. La David Johnson. Wilson said Trump was insensitive and told Johnson that her husband “knew what he signed up for.”

Johnson later confirmed Wilson’s description of the phone call from Trump.

The White House says Trump’s remarks are being misconstrued by the media and claims that chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, whose son died in combat, was in the room at the time of Trump’s call to Johnson and that he believes the president was respectful and gracious.