WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and honoring the nation’s fallen (all times local):
President Donald Trump is continuing to reject a Florida congresswoman’s account that he told the widow of a soldier killed in an ambush in Niger that her husband “knew what he signed up for.”
The President says Wednesday before a meeting at the White House that he “didn’t say it at all.” He adds: “I had a very nice conversation with the woman, the wife, who sounded like a lovely woman. Did not say what the congresswoman said.”
Sgt. La David Johnson was among four servicemen killed in the African nation of Niger earlier this month. Rep. Frederica Wilson said she was with Myeshia Johnson Tuesday when Trump called the widow. She said she overheard Trump’s words.
The serviceman’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, told The Associated Press Wednesday that the congresswoman’s account was correct. She said “not only did he disrespect my son,” but also the family.
Trump, asked by reporters about an earlier tweet saying he had “proof”of what he said, the president said: “let her (Wilson) make her statement again and you’ll find out.”
The mother of a soldier killed in an ambush in Niger is confirming a report that President Donald Trump told his widow he “knew what he signed up for.”
Cowanda Jones-Johnson spoke to the Associated Press via Facebook message Wednesday. A Florida congresswoman said previously that Trump made the statement to Myeshia Johnson on Tuesday during a telephone call as she was on the way to Miami International Airport to meet the body of her husband, Sgt. La David Johnson.
Jones-Johnson says she was in the car and “the statement is true.” She added that “not only did he disrespect my son” but Trump was disrespectful to her son’s widow. Jones-Johnson said she did not record the conversation.
Trump said on Twitter that Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson “fabricated” the account.
Like other presidents, Donald Trump has made personal contact with some families of the fallen and not all.
What’s different is that Trump has picked a political fight over the matter.
He boasts: “I think I’ve called every family of someone who’s died.”
But AP finds that Trump has not in fact spoken with the families of all the war dead on his watch. At least two never got a call or letter, and another family received no call.
And there’s ample evidence presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush pulled their weight in offering condolences, contrary to Trump’s assertions.