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Axios Oct 19
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Kelly: I'm "stunned" that Rep. Wilson listened to Trump's call

At Thursday's briefing, the Chief of Staff only called on reporters who know gold star families for questions. Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly said Thursday he did not receive a phone call from President Obama when his son was killed in Afghanistan. "That's not a criticism," Kelly added. He said that he initially advised Trump not to make phone calls to families.

Kelly told Trump, "There's nothing you can do to lighten the burden." The president called the four families who lost soldiers in Niger and offered condolences in "the best way he could ... It stuns me" that a member of Congress listened in on that phone call. "I thought at least that's sacred," he said. The Chief of Staff also confirmed that the president told Myeshia Johnson her husband "knew what he signed up for" and added Trump meant the statement as a testament to La David Johnson's heroism.