Donald Trump’s $25,000 cheque to dead soldier’s family dated same day as report criticising him for not sending it
The family of a US soldier killed in Afghanistan has received a $25,000 (£18,900) cheque from Donald Trump dated the same day as a report revealing the President had not sent the money.
The cheque is printed with the date 18 October and arrived four months after it was first promised.
Mr Trump vowed to give the payment to the grieving father of Dillon Baldridge, a 22-year-old man killed in June, during a call where he extended his condolences.
Yet the money never arrived, the father of the 22-year-old told The Washington Post on Wednesday.
The timing of the cheque has raised questions, since the White House initially refused to comment on the matter
Later on the same day as the report, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said: “The cheque has been sent”.
She criticised the press for reporting on the issue. “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,” she said.
A letter accompanying the cheque said: “I am glad my legal counsel has been able to finally approve this contribution to you. Enclosed is a cheque for $25,000 — I hope this will make things a bit easier, but nothing will ever replace your son, Dillon.
“He was an American hero.”
The family have responded to the letter expressing their gratitude and saying they intended to use the money to set up a non-profit organisation in the 22-year-old’s name.
“Our goal is to help as many fellow Americans as possible for the rest of our lives,” they said in the letter, reported by ABC News.
Mr Trump’s interactions with the families of US soldiers killed in action have received increased scrutiny in recent days.
The President has denied a claim that he told the wife of a soldier killed in Niger this month her husband knew what he signed up for.