WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 10:  U.S. President Barack Obama speaks while meeting with President-elect Donald Trump (L) following a meeting in the Oval Office November 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. Trump is scheduled to meet with members of the Republican leadership in Congress later today on Capitol Hill.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 10: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks while meeting with President-elect Donald Trump (L) following a meeting in the Oval Office November 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. Trump is scheduled to meet with members of the Republican leadership in Congress later today on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Win McNamee/Getty Images/FILE
Now playing
01:41
Trump: Ask Kelly if Obama called about son
Niger map
Niger map
Now playing
00:58
US military reveals new firefight in Niger
A private funeral was held for Sgt. La David T. Johnson in Cooper City, Florida.  Sgt. Johnson, 25, was part of a joint U.S. and Nigerian train, advise and assist mission and died October 4, 2017 in southwest Niger as a result of enemy fire.
A private funeral was held for Sgt. La David T. Johnson in Cooper City, Florida. Sgt. Johnson, 25, was part of a joint U.S. and Nigerian train, advise and assist mission and died October 4, 2017 in southwest Niger as a result of enemy fire.
PHOTO: US Defense Department/US Defense Department/US Defense Department
Now playing
01:59
Additional remains of fallen soldier found
sgt. johnson national geographic
sgt. johnson national geographic
PHOTO: National Geographic Channel
Now playing
00:58
Video shows US soldier before attack in Niger
exclusive inside the ambush zone in niger arwa damon_00001414.jpg
exclusive inside the ambush zone in niger arwa damon_00001414.jpg
Now playing
01:53
Exclusive look inside the Niger ambush zone
Now playing
01:17
Senators claim not to know of troops in Niger
PHOTO: WSVN
Now playing
01:28
Lawmaker infuriated over Trump's call to widow
trump Myeshia Johnson call no recording SHS WHPB sot_00000000.jpg
trump Myeshia Johnson call no recording SHS WHPB sot_00000000.jpg
Now playing
00:49
WH: No recording of call to soldier's widow
Trump on Wilson
Trump on Wilson
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
00:37
Trump denies Wilson's claim on call to widow
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:06
Wilson: Trump didn't know slain soldier's name
PHOTO: SCALZO/Wilson/Getty Images
Now playing
01:41
Trump: Ask Kelly if Obama called about son
Green Beret Wright
Green Beret Wright
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
00:58
Green Beret's brother: Trump's call 'an honor'
trump calling families of niger kia troops sot_00005808.jpg
trump calling families of niger kia troops sot_00005808.jpg
Now playing
02:04
Trump: Obama didn't call slain troops' families
fallen green beret hartung pkg_00022729.jpg
fallen green beret hartung pkg_00022729.jpg
Now playing
02:48
Fallen Green Beret laid to rest
The Department of Defense announced today the death of Sgt. La David T. Johnson who was part of a joint U.S.  and Nigerian train, advise and assist mission.Sgt. Johnson, 25, of Miami Gardens, Florida, died October 4, 2017 in southwest Niger as a result of enemy fire.
The Department of Defense announced today the death of Sgt. La David T. Johnson who was part of a joint U.S. and Nigerian train, advise and assist mission.Sgt. Johnson, 25, of Miami Gardens, Florida, died October 4, 2017 in southwest Niger as a result of enemy fire.
PHOTO: US Defense Department
Now playing
05:22
Congresswoman describes Trump's call to widow

Story highlights

The comment came during an interview on Fox News Radio

"I write letters and I also call," Trump said of himself

(CNN) —  

President Donald Trump, in defense of his claim that President Barack Obama didn’t call the loved ones of fallen soldiers, floated the idea Tuesday that reporters ask his chief of staff, retired Gen. John Kelly, whether Obama called him after his son died in Afghanistan.

The comment came during an interview on Fox News Radio.

“As far as other presidents, I don’t know, you could ask Gen. Kelly, did he get a call from Obama? I don’t know what Obama’s policy was,” Trump said.

Kelly’s son Robert died when he stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan in 2010. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, was a lieutenant general at the time.

Multiple White House officials have told CNN that Obama did not call Kelly when his son was killed.

CNN asked the White House to talk to Kelly about this issue, but they declined to make him available. Kelly also has not responded to a direct request from comment from CNN.

“I write letters and I also call,” Trump said of himself. “I have called, I believe everybody, but I will use the word virtually everybody.”

In the first year of Obama’s term, 466 American troops died in Iraq and Afghanistan, compared to 25 this year. A spokesman for Obama declined a CNN request for comment about Trump’s remarks.

Kelly and his wife, Karen Hernest Kelly, were invited to attend a 2011 Memorial Day breakfast for Gold Star families, those men and women whose children were killed in action, according to an aide, speaking on background.

White House visitor logs from that day show that Kelly and his wife were cleared to attend the event. A person familiar with the breakfast says that General and Mrs. Kelly were scheduled to sit at Michelle Obama’s table, but CNN could not determine if they were present.

On Tuesday, Trump bragged about calling loved ones from all those killed in action during his presidency.

“I really speak for myself. I am not speaking for other people. I don’t know what (George W.) Bush did. I don’t know what Obama did,” Trump said. “I believe his policy was somewhat different than my policy. I can tell you, my policy is I have called every one of them.”

Trump said on Monday he’d written letters to the families of the slain American soldiers, and planned to phone them in the near future.

Kelly, according to media reports, has tried to keep his son’s death private.

The Washington Post, in a 2011 profile of Kelly, reported that the general asked a Marine Corps officer not to mention his son’s death when he was introduced at a St. Louis event days after his son was killed.

Clarification: An earlier version said the Kellys attended the 2011 Memorial Day breakfast. White House records only show they were cleared in to attend.

CNN’s Kevin Liptak and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.