On Monday morning President Trump inaccurately asserted that his predecessor, President Obama, failed to call the families of fallen American soldiers. It was an easily disproven claim, as former Obama staffers swiftly pointed out, but the White House, instead, described Trump’s comments as simply “stating a fact.”
In a statement, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders simultaneously endorsed Trump’s blatant lie and implied anyone who said otherwise was misinformed.
“When American heroes make the ultimate sacrifice, Presidents pay their respects. Sometimes they call, sometimes they send a letter, other times they have the opportunity to meet family members in person,” her statement read. “This President, like his predecessors, has done each of these. Individuals claiming former Presidents, such as their bosses, called each family of the fallen are mistaken.”
Those “mistaken individuals” Sanders ostensibly referred to are two former Obama staffers who called out Trump’s claim for what it was, a lie, on Twitter. Ben Rhodes, former foreign policy advisor to Obama, described Trump’s declaration as an “outrageous lie” and uniquely insolent:
Rhodes’ sentiment was amplified by Alyssa Mastromonaco, who was Obama’s deputy chief of staff for three years. Trump’s contention, Mastromonaco said, was a “fucking lie” and she extended her refutation to previous presidents:
And she followed up after the White House doubled down on Trump’s claim:
Resident Trump troll and former White House photographer, Pete Souza, also joined the chorus of objections with an Instagram of Obama meeting the family of a marine who was killed in Afghanistan:
Finally, even former President George Bush was vindicated: