President Trump promised to personally donate $25,000 to the father of a fallen soldier and create an online fundraiser for the soldier’s family but didn’t follow through, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Trump told Chris Baldridge, whose son was killed in Afghanistan in June, that he would “write you a check out of my personal account for $25,000,” Baldridge told the Post.
“I could not believe he was saying that, and I wish I had it recorded because the man did say this,” Baldridge said. “He said, ‘No other president has ever done something like this,’ but he said, ‘I’m going to do it.’”
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters later told the Post that the check “has been sent.”
“It’s disgusting that the media is taking something that should be recognized as a generous and sincere gesture, made privately by the president, and using it to advance the media’s biased agenda,” she said.
Baldridge said during the phone call that he told the president he was struggling with his son’s death, which is suspected to have happened during an insider attack.
“I said, ‘Me and my wife would rather our son died in trench warfare,’ ” Baldridge told the Post. “I feel like he got murdered over there.”
Trump is facing major backlash after Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica WilsonOvernight Health Care: Senate won’t vote on ObamaCare repeal bill | GOP chairman ready to resume bipartisan talks | Republicans nix idea of pairing repeal with tax reformFla. lawmaker warned officials before retirement home tragedyFlorida Dem: ‘Abomination’ that seniors were left at nursing home where 8 diedMORE (D-Fla.) said that Trump told the widow of a soldier killed in Niger that her husband “knew what he was signing up for, but I guess it hurts anyway.”
The mother of the soldier, Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who was one of four U.S. soldiers killed in Niger nearly two weeks ago, confirmed Wilson’s description of the call to the Post.
Trump has denied Wilson’s account of the phone call, claiming in a tweet Wednesday that he had “proof” that she had “totally fabricated” the story.
“I didn’t say what that congresswoman said — didn’t say it at all — she knows it,” Trump told reporters later Wednesday. “I would like her to make the statement again because I did not say what she said.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Wednesday that there was no recording of the call, but that chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE was in the room with Trump during the conversation.