After baselessly accusing President Barack Obama of failing to call the families of fallen soldiers earlier this week, on Tuesday, President Donald Trump himself called the families of the U.S. soldiers who were killed in Niger earlier this month.
However, it appears Trump’s comments to one widow did not bring comfort and instead made her cry, according to an account from Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL).
Wilson was in a car with Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, on Tuesday afternoon when Trump called and spoke to Johnson on speakerphone. The congresswoman told the Washington Post that Trump told Johnson, “He knew what was signing up for, but I guess it hurts anyway.”
“He made her cry,” Wilson told the Washington Post, describing Johnson’s reaction to Trump’s phone call.
Johnson was on the way to the airport to meet her husband’s remains, according to Miami television station WPLG.
The White House did not deny the account on Tuesday night, telling the Post, “The President’s conversations with the families of American heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice are private.”
However, Trump responded Wednesday morning and claimed Wilson “fabricated” his comments.
Wilson told WPLG that Trump’s comments to the widow were inappropriate.
“It’s so insensitive. He should have not have said that. He shouldn’t have said it,” the congresswoman said.
The account of Trump’s phone call to the family of one of the fallen soldiers came after the President politicized the situation on Monday. When asked why he had not publicly addressed the death of four U.S. soldiers in Niger for nearly two weeks, Trump told reporters that he had written letters yet to be sent to the families, and that he would follow up with phone calls.
He then attacked Obama and other former presidents, baselessly claiming that they rarely called the families of fallen soldiers. Staff to former President Obama quickly pushed back on the accusation.
Trump then ramped up his criticisms, suggesting that Obama did not call chief of staff John Kelly when his son died in combat in 2010. Obama hosted Kelly at a dinner for Gold Star Families in 2011, six months after his son died.