Trump disputes military widow’s account of condolence call
President Donald Trump on Monday disputed a widow’s account of a condolence call he made to her following the death of her husband in Niger earlier this month.
Trump tweeted shortly after Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, discussed her disappointment with the call on “Good Morning America” Monday morning, saying the President stumbled on her husband’s name and suggesting the only reason he knew it was because the report was right in front of him.
“I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!” Trump tweeted.
Johnson said she was distraught over Trump’s alleged oversights during the call, which came as the Johnson family and Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, who is a friend of the family, rode in a limo to receive Johnson’s body from Dover Air Force Base.
“(The call) made me cry because I was very angry at the tone of his voice,” she said.
When host George Stephanopoulos asked if she had anything to say to the President, Johnson was direct.
“No. I don’t have nothing to say to him,” she said.
There are currently no plans for the administration to reach out to Sgt. Johnson’s family again, a White House official said. The White House offered no additional comment.
Wilson and Trump have traded barbs for nearly a week on the controversy stemming from the President’s condolence call to Johnson.
Wilson claimed that the President said Johnson “knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt.” The family member who raised Johnson has called Wilson’s account of the call “very accurate” and the White House has not refuted that Trump spoke those words.
Myeshia Johnson told “Good Morning America” Wilson’s account of the call was “100% correct.”
Johnson’s GMA appearance comes during a swirling political debate over the circumstances of the death of her husband and three other US soldiers in Niger.
Sgt. Johnson was found nearly a mile away from the central scene of the ambush in Niger, four administration officials familiar with the early assessment of what happened told CNN on Friday. The Pentagon is still looking at the exact circumstances of how and when Johnson became separated from the 12-member team as they were ambushed by 50 ISIS fighters. The FBI is assisting in the investigation of the ambush.
Johnson, who is expecting a daughter this January, said she’s still waiting for answers regarding the circumstances of her husband’s death.
“The questions that I have that I need answered is I want to know why it took them 48 hours to find my husband,” she told Stephanopoulos. “Why couldn’t I see my husband? Every time I asked to see my husband, they wouldn’t let me.”
She says she’s gotten no answers from the government about how or where her husband died and says they refused to let her view his body.
“They won’t show me a finger, a hand. … I don’t know what’s in that box,” she said.
She added, “They won’t tell me. They won’t tell me anything. I don’t know anything.”
When Stephanopoulos asked if she believed she would get the answers to questions surrounding her husband’s death, Johnson said: “If I keep pushing for them, I will.”