Tags: Trump Administration | florida | democrat | frederica wilson | john kelly

Florida Dem Says Gen. Kelly Got 2015 Story Wrong

Image: Florida Dem Says Gen. Kelly Got 2015 Story Wrong
Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla. (Alan Diaz/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 19 October 2017 10:56 PM

Florida Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson said Thursday that White House chief of staff John Kelly was wrong for saying she had bragged about getting the funding for a new FBI building in the state at a 2015 ceremony.

"He shouldn't be able to just say that, that is terrible," Wilson told McClatchy. "This has become totally personal."

In his comments at the White House press briefing, Kelly slammed Wilson as an "empty barrel" — saying she bragged "she got the money" for the building while he and others were focused on the slain FBI agents for whom it was named.

"A congresswoman stood up, and in a long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there in all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call, he gave the money, the $20 million, to build the building, and she sat down," Kelly told reporters.

Wilson told McClatchy that Congress approved the money before she was even joined the House of Representatives in 2011.

She said she sponsored the legislation to name the building after Benjamin Grogan and Jerry Dove, who were killed during a 1986 shootout with bank robbers near Miami.

Former President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law three days before the April 2015 dedication ceremony, McClatchy reports.

Miami Republicans praised Wilson in 2015 for sponsoring the legislation, as did then-FBI Director James Comey.

"Rep. Wilson truly did the impossible, and we are eternally grateful," Comey said, according to McClatchy.

Kelly's salvo came after Wilson attacked President Donald Trump on Tuesday for his comments to the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, 25, a Green Beret slain with three others in an Oct. 4 ambush by Islamic State terrorists in Niger.

Wilson said Trump was disrespectful to his widow, Myeshia, 24, by telling her: "He knew what he signed up for . . . but when it happens it hurts anyway."

A Trump administration spokesman told McClatchy in a statement late Thursday "the White House stands by Gen. Kelly's account of the event."

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A Florida Democrat struck back against White House chief of staff John Kelly, saying he was wrong for saying Rep. Frederica Wilson, R-Fla., had bragged about getting the funding for a new FBI building at a 2015 ceremony.
florida, democrat, frederica wilson, john kelly
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2017-56-19
Thursday, 19 October 2017 10:56 PM
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