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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

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats target billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After failing to get a deal on other planned tax increases, key Senate Democrats are pivoting to a billionaires' income tax to pay for President Biden's social spending.

The big picture: No advanced economy has attempted anything similar on such a scale.

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
8 hours ago - Economy & Business

Trump's volatile return to the stock market

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals 

Donald Trump this week became both a meme stock and a social-media entrepreneur at the same time, by announcing that a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group was going to merge with an existing company listed on the stock market.

Why it matters: The medium-term promise of Trump's media company is that it will replace Twitter for anybody wanting to keep track of Trump's messages. The short-term promise is that it can be a hot new speculative vehicle for people wanting to get rich quick in the stock market.