Tags: Donald Trump | frederica wilson | donald trump | niger | widow | phone call

Florida Rep. Defends Call Claims: 'I Have Proof Too'

(CNN)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 October 2017 08:43 AM

Rep. Frederica Wilson, who President Donald Trump claimed in a Wednesday morning tweet had "totally fabricated" what he'd said to the widow of a Green Beret killed in action in Niger, said she doesn't know what "proof" he says he has that she hadn't told the truth.

"I don't know what kind of proof he could be talking about," Wilson told CNN "New Day" co-host Alisyn Camerota. "I'm not the only person that was in the car. And I have proof too. This man is a sick man. He's cold hearted and he feels no pity or sympathy for anyone."

Wilson, D-Florida, initially complained about the president's call to the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, 25, of Miami Gardens, Tuesday. Johnson died when he and three other Green Berets were ambushed Oct. 4 by ISIS terrorists in Niger.

"This is a grieving widow, a grieving widow who is six months pregnant," Wilson told Camerota. "This is a young woman. She's only 24 years old. She weighs maybe 110 pounds. And she has two other kids. 2 years old and 6 years old. When she actually hung up the phone and she looked at me and said 'he didn't even know his name.' Now, that's the worst part."

Wilson told CNN that she is not trying to prove anything about Trump, and he "evidently is lying, because what I said is true. I have no reason to lie on the president of the United States, with a dead soldier in my community. I have no time. I have no motive."

Wilson said there were other people who heard the speaker phone call, including Mrs. Johnson's aunt, uncle, her own press person, the driver, and the master sergeant making the trip to the airport in Miami.

"We're not trying to, leading up to the funeral of this young man, get into some sort of match with the president of the United States," Wilson told Camerota. "[Trump should be] trying to find out what he could do to make up for what he did say, instead of calling me a liar and calling everyone else in the car a liar. He doesn't even know how to sympathize with people."

Wilson also slammed Trump's decision to tweet an attack on her.

"It's disgraceful for him to even tweet about this, and as I say, this gentleman has a brain disorder and he needs to be checked out," said Wilson.

Trump's tweet came minutes after Wilson was being interviewed on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, and after she claimed that the president sounded as if he was "almost like joking" when he told the widow of a Green Beret sergeant killed in action in Niger that he "knew what he signed up for."

"He said, well, I guess you knew, something to the fact that he knew what he was getting into when he signed up, but I guess it hurts anyway,'" the Florida Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "You know, just matter of factually. That this happens. Anyone who is signing up for military duty is signing up to die. And that's the way we interpreted it, and it was horrible."

The call came as Johnson's widow was traveling to Miami to meet her husband's remains.

Wilson told MSNBC that she was livid over the call, and denied that she was speaking about her own take over Trump's words.

"She was in tears," Wilson said. "She was in tears and she said he didn't even remember his name!"

Wilson also denied that she was using the phone call for political purposes, saying Johnson has been part of her mentoring program in Miami since he was a little boy, and she wants answers about his death.

Wilson described Johnson as being "wonderful. He was smart. He was athletic. He was married to the most wonderful woman who has two children and she is with child. They are devastated."

Further, she said, there are not many "black Green Berets in the military, so we are so proud of him. And Mr. Trump was extremely insensitive to that family and I will stick by that. I'm not trying to politicize it, but I think it was a disgrace."

Wilson told CNN that she thinks Trump needs to learn from past presidents, such as Barack Obama, and learn to be "presidential during times like this."

"Someone needs to train him and teach him what to say," Wilson said. "Maybe they can write a script for him and he can just call and say 'you have my sympathy. I'm sending you a letter.'"

Wilson also told CNN that she wanted to be put on the phone with Trump after she heard his words, but a master sergeant who was present told her she could not do that.

"You know what, I think I was going to curse him out," Wilson said, but she wouldn't say exactly what she would have told Trump "because I don't want to politicize that."

Meanwhile, second lady Karen Pence, while appearing in a television interview Wednesday to outline her decision to champion art therapy as her issue while in Washington, also took a minute to defend President Donald Trump's relationship with the military.

"Mike [Pence] and I both have had the privilege of being with lots of our military, and frequently we're with the president and Melania, and I have never seen someone who has such respect for the military," Pence told the Fox News "Fox and Friends" program. "His compassion and his care is so obvious when he is with these families."

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Rep. Frederica Wilson, who President Donald Trump claimed in a Wednesday morning tweet had "totally fabricated" what he'd said to the widow of a Green Beret killed in action in Niger, said she doesn't know what "proof" he says he has that she hadn't told the truth.
frederica wilson, donald trump, niger, widow, phone call
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2017-43-18
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 08:43 AM
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