US Rep. say President Trump says fallen soldier knew what he signed up for, President denies claims
MIAMI (AP) — President Donald Trump told the widow of a soldier killed in an ambush in Niger that her husband “knew what he signed up for,” according to a Florida congresswoman who says she heard part of the conversation on speakerphone.
Rep. Frederica Wilson said she was in the car with Myeshia Johnson on the way to Miami International Airport to meet the body of Johnson’s husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, when Trump called.
When asked by Miami station WPLG if she indeed heard Trump say that she answered: “Yeah, he said that. To me, that is something that you can say in a conversation, but you shouldn’t say that to a grieving widow.” She added: “That’s so insensitive.”
Johnson’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the congresswoman’s account was correct.
“Yes the statement is true,” Jones-Johnson said. “I was in the car and I heard the full conversation.
The President disputes Wilson’s claims. He tweeted this morning says she “totally fabricated” her claim, and also said he has proof.
Sgt. Johnson was among four servicemen killed in the African nation of Niger earlier this month. They died when militants thought to be affiliated with the Islamic State group ambushed them while they were patrolling in unarmored trucks with Nigerien troops.
Wilson, a Democrat, said she did not hear the entire conversation and Myeshia Johnson told her she couldn’t remember everything that was said when asked it about it later.
The White House didn’t immediately comment.
Trump has been criticized for not reaching out right away to relatives of the four killed in Niger. On Monday, Trump said he’d written letters that had not yet been mailed. His aides said they had been awaiting information before proceeding.