The mother of a soldier killed in an ambush in Africa said Wednesday that President Trump "did disrespect my son" with remarks in a condolence telephone call. Sgt. La David T. Johnson's mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, told The Washington Post that she was present during the call from the White House on Tuesday to Johnson's widow, Myeshia Johnson. Johnson's mother also stood by an account of the call from Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) that Trump told Johnson's widow that her husband "must have known what he signed up for." "President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband," Jones-Johnson said. Wilson had said that the Johnson family was "astonished" by Trump's remarks during the phone call, which Wilson said she heard via a speaker phone while riding in a car with the Johnson family. "She was crying the whole time, 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." read more
U.S. President Donald Trump told U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson's widow Tuesday that "he knew what he signed up for ... but when it happens it hurts anyway," when he died serving in northwestern Africa, according to Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens. ... "Yes, he said it," Wilson said. "It's so insensitive. He should have not have said that. He shouldn't have said it." The president called about 4:45 p.m. and spoke to Johnson's pregnant widow, Myeshia Johnson, for about five minutes. read more
President Donald Trump on Tuesday sought to deflect criticism of his widely disputed comments on fallen service members by invoking his chief of staff's son, who was killed in combat. When Fox News' Brian Kilmeade raised the matter Tuesday on his radio show, Trump responded: "You could ask [White House chief of staff] General [John] Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?" Kelly's son, Robert, died in 2010 when he stepped on a land mine while serving in Afghanistan. Both father and son were Marines. Ned Price, a National Security Council official under Obama, reacted angrily to Trump broaching the death of Kelly's son to continue taking swipes at Obama. "Kelly, a man of honor & decency, should stop this inane cruelty. He saw up-close just how -- and how much -- Obama cared for the fallen's families," Price tweeted. read more
U.S. President Donald Trump told U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson's widow Tuesday that "he knew what he signed up for ...but when it happens it hurts anyway," when he died serving in northwestern Africa, according to Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens. "Yes, he said it," Wilson said. "It's so insensitive. He should have not have said that. He shouldn't have said it." The president called about 4:45 p.m. and spoke to Johnson's pregnant widow, Myeshia Johnson, for about five minutes. She is a mother to Johnson's surviving 2-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter. The conversation happened before Johnson's remains arrived in a commercial Delta Airlines flight at Miami International Airport. Wilson witnessed as the widow, who is expecting their third baby in January, leaned over the U.S. flag that was draping his casket. Her pregnant belly was shaking against the casket as she sobbed uncontrollably.
In the 10 days since four Green Berets were ambushed and killed in Niger, President Donald Trump has used his Twitter account to attack a sports commentator, call for a curtailing of the free press, denigrate his political enemies, sell a book, draw attention to Vice President Mike Pence's public protest at taxpayers' expense, and congratulate himself for a job well done. Yet he's failed to say anything about the four U.S. service members killed in Western Africa: Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, and Sgt. La David Johnson. About a dozen troops were ambushed on Oct. 4 while on a joint patrol with Nigerien troops; five Nigerien soldiers were also killed. This marks the deadliest-yet engagement for U.S. troops since Trump took office, and yet Trump himself has issued no tweets or personal statements about the matter, 10 days after the fact. read more