President Trump denies disrespecting grieving family

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WASHINGTON —  President Donald Trump is emphatically rejecting claims he was disrespectful to the grieving family of a slain soldier, as the firestorm he ignited over his assertions of empathy for American service members spread into a third contentious day.

The controversy has generated new turmoil in the White House. After one slain soldier’s father accused the president of going back on a promise to send a check for $25,000, the White House said the money had been sent.

The aunt of an Army sergeant killed in Niger says Trump showed “disrespect” to the soldier’s loved ones as he telephoned them to extend condolences. Sgt. La David Johnson was one of four American soldiers killed nearly two weeks ago; Trump called the families Tuesday.