Trump Scrambles to Get Letters to Gold Star Families

The Atlantic reports that three families of fallen service members received next-day UPS letters from President Trump in the past week, as the White House is scrambling to defend the president’s characterization of his communications with grieving military families.

Timothy Eckels Sr. hadn’t heard anything from President Trump since his son Timothy Eckels Jr. was killed after a collision involving the USS John S. McCain on August 21. But then, on October 20, two days into the controversy over the president’s handling of a condolence call with an American soldier’s widow, Eckels Sr. received a United Parcel Service package dated October 18 with a letter from the White House.

“Honestly, I feel the letter is reactionary to the media storm brewing over how these things have been handled,” Eckels told The Atlantic. “I’ve received letters from McCain, Mattis and countless other officials before his. I wasn’t sure if the fact that the accident that caused Timothy’s death has still yet to officially have the cause determined played into the timing of our president’s response.”

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