The family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan received a $25,000 personal check from President Trump – months after he'd offered it and dated the day The Washington Post asked about it.
Army Cpl. Dillon Baldridge, 22, was shot June 10 by an Afghan police officer and his grieving parents, Chris and Jessie Baldridge, of Zebulon, N.C., received a condolence call from Trump a few weeks later in July.
During the chat, Chris Baldridge mentioned a dispute about survivor benefits that the Pentagon pays relatives of fallen soldiers. Trump volunteered to give the family a $25,000 check.
“He said, ‘I’m going to write you a check out of my personal account for $25,000,’ and I was just floored,” Baldridge told The Post. “He said, ‘No other president has ever done something like this,’ but he said, ‘I’m going to do it.’ ”
The family got a condolence letter a few weeks later and didn’t think anything more about the check. But the check dated Oct. 18 — the same day The Post asked about it — has now arrived.
"I'm still speechless," Jessie Baldridge told WTVD in North Carolina, in an exclusive interview with the ABC affiliate on Monday. "We are so moved and grateful, and we promise to use the money to honor Dillon's legacy."
The White House had said it was processing the gift since the call.
"It's disgusting that the media is taking something that should be recognized as a generous and sincere gesture, made privately by the president, and using it to advance the media's biased agenda," spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.
Trump’s condolence calls have stirred emotional responses. His call to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed in an Oct. 4 ambush in Niger, remains hotly contested.