‘It was horrible’

Mother of slain soldier says Trump ‘disrespected’ her son and his widow in disturbing consolation call

The widow of Sgt. La David Johnson hugs the casket carrying his remains (Twitter)

President Donald Trump is under fire over claims that he told the widow of a soldier killed in Niger that “he knew what he was getting into when he signed up,” in what turned out to be an upsetting consolation call from the commander in chief. Trump has vehemently disputed the account, but the fallen soldier’s mother has now spoken out to The Washington Post to confirm that Trump “did disrespect my son and my daughter.”

Trump, who had been facing criticism for having said nothing about the deaths of four U.S. special soldiers in Niger in the 12 days since they were killed in an ambush, took to Twitter on Monday and Tuesday to say that President Barack Obama hadn’t made calls to the families of soldiers — a claim that former Obama administration officials have denounced as untrue. Later on Tuesday, Representative Frederica S. Wilson of Florida told The Washington Post that she had been in the car with Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, when Trump called, and that she had overheard the conversation on speakerphone.


“[Trump] was almost like joking. He said, ‘Well, I guess you knew’ — something to the effect that ‘he knew what he was getting into when he signed up, but I guess it hurts anyway.’ You know, just matter-of-factly, that this is what happens, anyone who is signing up for military duty is signing up to die. That’s the way we interpreted it. It was horrible. It was insensitive. It was absolutely crazy, unnecessary. I was livid,” Wilson told MSNBC on Wednesday.

“He made her cry,” Wilson added. “When she hung up the phone, she looked at me and said, ‘He didn’t even remember his name.’ That’s the hurting part.”

Trump took to Twitter once more on Wednesday, this time to call Wilson’s account “totally fabricated.” But Sgt. Johnson’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, spoke to The Washington Post and corroborated Wilson’s account.

“President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband,” she said, adding that she did not want to elaborate about the conversation except to say that Wilson’s relation of events was accurate.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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