Delilia O'Malley revealed that former President George W. Bush had listened to her scream before hugging her after she was told her brother had been killed while serving in the Iraq War.
Her anger at Trump was echoed by thousands of other Gold Star families who say they were insulted by Trump's comments. A number of ex-staffers who worked with past presidents have also since publicly slammed Trump for blatantly lying.
Trump made the controversial remarks when he was asked why he hadn't yet commented on the deaths of four elite US special forces soldiers in Niger who were killed in an ambush by ISIS. Trump claimed he had written to the families and planned to call them at some point before saying that Obama and other past presidents had failed to phone the loved ones of slain soldiers.
"If you look at president Obama and other presidents - most of them didn't' make calls. A lot of them didn't make calls," he said. "I like to call when it's appropriate, when I think I'm able to do it. They have made the ultimate sacrifice, so generally I would say that I like to call."
When asked during the press conference to back up his claims about Obama, Trump appeared to try and backpedal. "I don't know if he did. I was told that he didn't often. A lot of presidents don't, they write letters. I do a combination of both. Sometimes it's a very difficult thing to do but I do a combination of both," he said. "President Obama I think probably did sometimes and maybe sometimes he didn't. I don't know that's what I was told," Trump clumsily added.
Trump Press Secretary Sarah Sanders later attempted to buttress Trump's comments when responding to the criticism, saying that "the president wasn't criticizing predecessors, but stating a fact."
Alyssa Mastromonaco, who served as a deputy chief of staff under former Obama, was among those to immediately lash out at Trump. "That's a fucking lie," she tweeted. "To say President Obama (or past presidents) didn't call the family members of soldiers [killed in action] – he's a deranged animal."
Ben Rhodes, Obama's foreign policy advisor, said: "This is an outrageous and disrespectful lie even by Trump standards."
Trump had previously taken his cues from rightwing media when criticizing Obama back in 2012, saying that Obama didn't really sign letters to the families of slain soldiers. "Too busy playing golf? Barack Obama sends form letters with an electronic signature to the parents of fallen SEALs," Trump tweeted at the time.
At the time, the Obama White House hit back saying Obama personally signed every letter sent out to military families.
Ironically, Trump himself was playing golf over the weekend when the dead body of 25-year-old Johnson was returned to Dover Air Force Base from Niger. Try lying your way out of that one, Mr. Trump.