Lara Trump Confirms Rep.’s Account Of POTUS’ Call, But Says It Lacked Context

Lara Trump on Friday backed up Rep. Frederica Wilson’s (D-FL) account of President Donald Trump’s phone call to the widow of a fallen soldier, even as she said she believed the congresswoman and the press took a comment that Wilson said was hurtful to the widow out of context.

Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt revealed during an interview on “Fox and Friends” that Trump, the wife of the President’s son Eric, had seen the transcript of the call. Trump described her father-in-law’s remark as coming during a broader comment on Sgt. La David Johnson’s commitment to serving his country.

“From what I have seen, this is a clear case of the media not doing their job. Whenever you read exactly what he said, he said ‘your husband went in to battle, you know, knowing that he could be injured, knowing that he could be killed and he still did it because he loves his country and he did it for the American people,'” Trump told Earhardt. “I can’t think of a better way, quite frankly, to express my gratitude to someone than by saying something like that. And yet they conveniently leave off the last part of what was said.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied to reporters on Friday afternoon that there is a transcript of the call. She said she believes Lara Trump “was responding to reports and things that she had read” and directed additional questions to the Trump campaign.

Wilson said this week that when the President called Myeshia Johnson, the soldier’s widow, he told her that her husband “knew what he was signing up for.” Other people who heard the call confirmed that account, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly backed it up Thursday when he told reporters that he’d advised Trump to tell Gold Star families that their lost loved ones knew what they had signed up for.

While Lara Trump argued that the President’s comments were simply made public without the full context, her father-in-law launched a far less nuanced attack on Wilson. He has repeatedly accused the congresswoman of lying, even after Kelly essentially confirmed Wilson’s story.

Eric Trump also took part in the interview, calling criticism of his father’s comments to Johnson “disgusting.”

“I think it shows the absolute worst of politics,” he said. “Here is the President of the United States calling to express his condolences on behalf of an incredibly grateful nation, and people turned it into a political item. To me, it’s disgusting.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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