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A Gold Star father says Donald Trump promised to give him $25,000 to make up for the loss of his dead son. Unsurprisingly, the father claims Trump hasn’t followed through.
On June 10 of this year, Chris Baldridge’s 22-year-old son, Army Sgt. Dillon Baldridge, was fatally shot by a police officer in Afghanistan. According to the Washington Post, Baldridge eventually received a personal phone call from President Trump, and spoke about his frustration with the military’s survivor benefits program. The father told POTUS he could "barely rub two nickels together," and that his ex-wife would receive the $100,000 death gratuity because she was listed as their son’s beneficiary.
Trump reportedly claimed to make things right by helping him out financially.
"He said, ‘I’m going to write you a check out of my personal account for $25,000,’ and I was just floored," Baldridge told the Washington Post. "I could not believe he was saying that, and I wish I had it recorded because the man did say this. He said, ‘No other president has ever done something like this,’ but he said, ‘I’m going to do it.’"
Baldridge says the White House has not sent him anything other than a condolence letter while the White House insists the donation was made.
"The check has been sent," White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said in a statement. "It’s disgusting that the media is taking something that should be recognized as a generous and sincere gesture, made privately by the President, and using it to advance the media’s biased agenda."
The report comes shortly after Trump was criticized for his response to four soldiers’ deaths in Niger. Though the soldiers were killed on Oct. 4, the president didn’t address the tragedy until more than a week later. He eventually contacted the Gold Star families though the contents of one conversation has generated a lot of controversy.
During his call with Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, Trump reportedly made an insensitive remark. Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson heard the conversation via speakerphone, and claimed Trump told Johnson that her husband "knew what he was signing up for."
Trump called Wilson’s claims "totally fabricated" and that he has "proof."