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President Trump breaks silence on death on Green Berets killed in Niger

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Posted at 2:42 PM, Oct 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-16 16:23:22-04

Breaking his public silence about four American soldiers killed during an ambush in Niger, President Donald Trump said Monday he'd penned personal letters to their families and planned to phone them later this week.

"I felt very, very badly about that," Trump said during a press availability in the Rose Garden. "I always feel badly. It is the toughest calls I have to make are the calls where this happens, soldiers are killed."

Trump claimed that past presidents -- including Barack Obama -- hadn't written or called the families of slain service members, though Obama spoke publicly during his term about his many interactions with the families of Americans killed in action.

Later, Trump backtracked on the claim slightly, saying "I was told that he didn't often."

Monday's statement were Trump's first remarks -- in person or on Twitter -- about the Green Berets who were slain around the October 4 raid. The White House press secretary said the administration was still reviewing the circumstances around the mission.

"It is a very difficult thing," Trump said. "It gets to a point where you make four to five of them in one day, it is a very, very tough day."

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