Dem lawmaker won’t respond to Kelly: ‘The focus should be on helping a grieving widow and family heal’
Rep. Frederica Wilson’s (D-Fla.) office said Thursday she would not respond to White House chief of staff John Kelly’s emotional defense of President Trump after controversy surrounding Trump’s handling of a call with the widow of a fallen U.S. soldier.
“The congresswoman will not be making any further comment on the issue because the focus should be on helping a grieving widow and family heal, not on her or Donald Trump,” Wilson’s spokesperson said in a statement.
The Florida Democrat faced off with the White House this week after sharing details of a call between Trump and the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who died along with three other U.S. soldiers following an Oct. 4 ambush in Niger.
Wilson said earlier this week that she was in the car with Johnson’s widow, Myeshia, during a trip to meet the slain soldier’s casket when Trump called. Wilson said the president told the widow her late husband “knew what he signed up for … but when it happens it hurts anyway.”
Trump fired back at Wilson in a tweet on Wednesday, accusing her of fabricating the account of the phone call.
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
Kelly, who is himself a Gold Star father, defended the president on Thursday while criticizing Wilson. The White House had said that Kelly and others also listened in during the call.
“It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation. Absolutely stuns me. I would have thought that was sacred,” Kelly said during the White House press briefing.
“He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1 percent,” he said. “He knew what the possibilities were because we’re at war.”
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