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Huckabee Sanders Blames ‘Protocol’ For Trump’s Late Call To Families Of Fallen Soldiers

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blamed “protocol” for President Trump’s incredibly late calls to the families of four Army Green Berets killed in Niger.

“There is a process that is a standard protocol for presenting the president with contact information for the families of fallen service members,” Sanders told reporters at the White House Wednesday, The Hill reports.

“Once that process is completed, the president or other members of the administration can engage in contact.”

Asked if it was because of such a protocol that Trump hasn’t contacted the families of service members killed in combat, Sanders said: “That’s my understanding.”

Trump has come under fire in recent days for his delay in responding to the Oct. 4 deaths of the four U.S. service members. A day after the attack, the White House said that Trump had been briefed on the matter. Sanders delivered a statement during the Oct. 5 White House press briefing, saying that the administration’s “thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the fallen.”

On Monday, 12 days after the deaths, Trump was asked why he had not personally addressed the ambush. Trump defended the delay by claiming that “President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls,” to families of the fallen.

Trump’s comments set off a firestorm of criticism from lawmakers and retired military officials alike, who accused the president of politicizing a sensitive topic.

Lawmakers have also slammed Trump for not relaying any information on the attack, and for allegedly making insensitive comments to the widow of one of the fallen soldiers, which he continues to deny.

But the Press Secretary again defended the 12 days of silence from Trump, saying “there is a protocol for that.”

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