- Screenshot via WPLG
President Donald Trump has denied Rep. Frederica Wilson’s claim that he told the wife of a slain soldier that her husband “knew what he signed up for.”
“Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.
Wilson on Tuesday told the Miami ABC affiliate WPLG that when Trump spoke with Myeshia Johnson – the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, one of the four US Army Special Forces troops killed in action during a mission in the African country of Niger earlier this month – Trump said, “He knew what he signed up for … but when it happens, it hurts anyway.”
“So insensitive,” Wilson told WPLG. “He should not have said that – he shouldn’t have said it.” Wilson said she overheard Trump make the comment as she rode with Johnson on the way to the airport to receive the fallen soldier’s body.
Earlier Tuesday, Trump doubled down on a false claim that President Barack Obama did not call the families of fallen American service members. Several former Obama administration officials disputed Trump’s assertion.
The president over the past 24 hours has sought to tout his own empathy for Gold Star families, but observers have criticized him for seeming to use the tradition of consoling the families as a means to congratulate himself.
Also Tuesday, Trump drew his chief of staff, John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, into the fray during an interview with Fox News Radio host Brian Kilmeade. Kelly’s son Robert was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
“You can ask General Kelly,” Trump said. “Did he get a call from Obama?”
Bryan Logan contributed to this report.