Grieving military father says he has not received $25,000 promised by Donald Trump

White House has now sent cheque, say reports, following coverage in media

Niamh McIntyre
Thursday 19 October 2017 00:17 BST
The cheque has now been sent, it has been reported
The cheque has now been sent, it has been reported (REUTERS)

The father of a soldier who died in Afghanistan was promised $25,000 (£18,940) and fundraising support by Donald Trump, but has recently said that no support has materialised.

Chris Baldrige, the father of 22 year old Army Corporal Dillon Baldridge, who was killed on duty in Afghanistan in June, told The Washington Post on Wednesday he had a fifteen minute phone call with the President a few weeks after his son’s death.

It is customary in the US for the President to call or write to “Gold Star” families - the name given to relatives of those who have died in military combat.

The cheque has now been sent, according to CNN - following media coverage months after the original phone call.

During his conversation, Mr Baldridge told President Trump he was concerned that his ex-wife would receive the entirety of the $100,000 gratuity the Pentagon awards to named beneficiaries of deceased soldiers.

President Trump said he would write a cheque for $25,000 to the soldier’s father from his personal account, according to Mr Baldridge.

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“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 I’m going to do it’“.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told The Washington Post, “The cheque has been sent. It’s disgusting that the media is taking something that should be recognised as a generous and sincere gesture, made privately by the President, and using it to advance the media’s biased agenda.“

It is the second embarrassing incident involving a Gold Star family in a matter of days for President Trump.

Frederica Wilson, a Democrat Congresswoman, recently claimed she overheard the President tell a dead soldier’s widow that her husband “knew what he was signing up for, but I guess it hurts anyway.”

President Trump has denied Ms Wilson’s version of events, claiming the Congresswoman had “totally fabricated” the incident.

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