gettyimages 862049440 Presidents silence questioned in service member deaths

U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) talk to reporters in the Rose Garden at the White House, (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By Caitlin M. Kenney

12 days after four American service members were killed in Niger, President Donald Trump still has not spoken publicly about their deaths. In response to a reporter’s question on that silence at a news conference, Trump said Monday that he had written to their families over the weekend and the letters had “been sent or they are going out tonight.”

Trump added that he was planning on calling the parents of the special operations soldiers.

“The toughest calls I have to make,” he said, “are the calls where this happens– soldiers are killed. It’s a very difficult thing.”

Trump then claimed that previous presidents, including his predecessor Barack Obama, “most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls,” to the families of the fallen.

A reporter soon after, further questioned those comments.

“I like, when I can, the combination of a call and also a letter,” Trump added, before moving on to other questions.

Here is video of the entire news conference:

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