The assertion Trump made in the Rose Garden yesterday claiming that "President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls" to the families of fallen soldiers was quickly refuted. Challenged in real time by NBC's Peter Alexander on how he could say Obama never called the families of fallen soldiers, Trump backtracked.

ABC's Jon Karl, on "World News Tonight," had rebuttals from aides to the last three presidents, shooting down Trump's false claims: "A spokesperson... said that President Obama engaged the families of the fallen and wounded warriors throughout his presidency through calls, letters, visits to Section 60 at Arlington, visits to Walter Reed, visits to Dover, and regular meetings with Gold Star families at the White House and across the country."

How it started: Asked during his press conference why he hadn't spoken about the Green Berets killed in Niger 12 days earlier, Trump said: "I've written [the families] personal letters. They've been sent, or they're going out tonight, but they were written during the weekend. I will, at some point during the period of time, call the parents and the families... if you look at President Obama and other Presidents, most of them didn't make calls, a lot of them didn't make calls."

Trump backtracking in response to Alexander's rebuttal: "I don't know if [Obama] did. ... I was told that he didn't often. And a lot of Presidents don't; they write letters... I do a combination of both... [S]ome Presidents didn't do anything."

Rebuttals from Clinton and Bush aides on ABC's "World News Tonight":

  • "An aide to President Clinton said that President Clinton did place calls to the fallen."
  • "A spokesperson for George W. Bush said President Bush wrote all the families of the fallen, and called or met privately with hundreds, if not thousands."

Go deeper

8 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began —AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial in U.S.How to help save 130,000 lives.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.