Donald Trump ‘tells pregnant widow of soldier he knew what he signed up for’
Sergeant La David Johnson was killed in Niger.
President Donald Trump has told the widow of a US army soldier killed in action “he knew what he signed up for” in a phone call to offer his condolences.
Sergeant La David Johnson was killed in an ambush in Niger on October 4 and his body was repatriated to Miami on Tuesday, before which Mr Trump called the soldier’s pregnant wife Myeshia, mother to his two children, for a five-minute phone call.
Mrs Johnson reportedly spoke to Mr Trump on speaker phone in the presence of Democratic congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who told ABC’s Local 10 news outlet about the comments made by the 45th president.
“He knew what he signed up for… but when it happens it hurts anyway,” Mr Trump reportedly said.
Sgt. La David Johnson is a hero. @realDonaldTrump does not possess the character, empathy or grace to be president of the United States.— Rep Frederica Wilson (@RepWilson) October 18, 2017
Representative Wilson said: “Yes, he said it. It’s so insensitive. He should not have said that. He shouldn’t have said it.”
Sgt Johnson will be laid to rest on Saturday.
His family and Ms Wilson are raising money for a scholarship towards college education for his children. The GoFundMe page has raised more than $150,000 in just one day.
The reaction to Mr Trump’s reported comments on social media has been swift and brutal, with many mentioning other controversial moments with veterans and their families.
Trump told widow of Sgt. Johnson, "he knew what he signed up for.” That’s far more disrespectful to our troops than kneeling during anthem.— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) October 18, 2017
Mr Trump described the congresswoman’s account as “fabricated”.
Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017
A White House spokesman told CNN: “The president’s conversations with the families of American heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice are private.”