Trump Again Denies Rep’s Account Of His Conversation With Soldier’s Widow

President Donald Trump, left, sitting next to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, right, speaks during a meeting of the committee and members of the President's economic team in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Susan Walsh/AP

President Donald Trump on Wednesday again denied Rep. Frederica Wilson’s (D-FL) account of his conversation with the widow of a U.S. soldier killed in Niger earlier in October, and demanded that Wilson “make her statement again.”

“I didn’t say what that congresswoman said, didn’t say it at all,” Trump said during a meeting with the Senate Finance Committee.

He claimed that Wilson was no longer giving her account of events, though as recently as Wednesday morning Wilson told CNN that she had “proof” of her account.

“She knows it, and she now is not saying it. I did not say what she said. And I’d like her to make the statement again because I did not say what she said,” Trump said. “I had a very nice conversation with the woman, with the wife, who sounded like a lovely woman. Did not say what the congresswoman said, and most people aren’t too surprised to hear that.”

Wilson’s office did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment, but Wilson said on Twitter that she stood by her words.

Wilson on Tuesday said she was in a car with Myeshia Johnson, Sgt. La David T. Johnson’s widow, when Trump called. Wilson said Trump told Johnson’s widow, “He knew what was signing up for, but I guess it hurts anyway.”

On Wednesday, Wilson told MSNBC that Myeshia Johnson cried throughout the phone call.

“And when she hung up the phone, she looked at me and said, ‘He didn’t even remember his name.’ That’s the hurting part,” Wilson said. “It was horrible. It was insensitive. It was absolutely crazy.”

Trump on Wednesday claimed Wilson’s account was “totally fabricated,” and claimed he had “proof.”

“What was the proof, Mr. President?” a reporter asked Trump.

“Let her make her statement again and you’ll find out,” he replied, and, pressed again, repeated, “Let her make her statement again and you’ll find out.”

Cowanda Jones-Johnson, Johnson’s mother, told the Washington Post on Wednesday that Trump “did disrespect” her son, her daughter, herself and her husband. Asked whether Wilson’s account of Trump’s conversation with Myeshia Johnson was accurate, Jones-Johnson said, “Yes.”

The White House did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment on Johnson-Jones’ corroboration of Wilson’s account.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK