Tags: bill nelson | frederica wilson | green beret | phone call donald trump

Nelson: Rep. Wilson 'Particularly Close' to Slain Green Beret

Nelson: Rep. Wilson 'Particularly Close' to Slain Green Beret
Sen. Bill Nelson (Octavio Jones/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 October 2017 11:07 AM

Sen. Bill Nelson Wednesday refused to get into the middle of the argument between President Donald Trump and Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, concerning the president's call to the widow of a fallen Green Beret, but did note that Wilson is close to the slain soldier's family because of her work with a Miami mentoring program.

"She was particularly close to this individual because she does this mentoring program in Miami called 5,000 Young Men," the Florida Democrat told CNN. "It's to bring up young African-American young men to be the best they can be and to have other role models of which they can achieve."

And, he said, one can imagine the pride that Wilson has when she sees many of the young men involved in the program, but especially for Sgt. La David Johnson, 25, who was killed in action along with three other Green Berets when they were ambushed Oct. 4 by ISIS terrorists in Niger.

Wilson has complained that Trump, while calling Johnson's pregnant widow, said that "he knew what he signed up for . . . but when it happens, it hurts anyway."

Nelson told CNN that he also has spoken with the widow, and he is sure "my words were totally inadequate."

"I was just trying to tumble out words to express appreciation on behalf of a grateful nation for his service and sacrifice, and she was consumed in grief, as you would expect," Nelson said. "Very subdued and somber. You know, it recalled for me back many, many years when I served as a military officer, and one of the toughest duties when you have to be the notification officer to the next of kin of those killed, and that's a sobering experience. And it was yesterday, as well, for me to call Mrs. Johnson."

Meanwhile, Nelson said he and a growing number of lawmakers believe there should be further investigation into the deaths of Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia, who were killed while on a joint patrol.

"Whenever we have deaths in the military like this, we need to know what happened exactly, how were they mousetrapped," Nelson said. "Did they have the appropriate rescue capabilities? Were they sufficiently armed? Did they walk into a trap?"

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Sen. Bill Nelson Wednesday refused to get into the middle of the argument between President Donald Trump and Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, concerning the president's call to the widow of a fallen Green Beret, but did note that Wilson is close to the slain soldier's...
bill nelson, frederica wilson, green beret, phone call donald trump
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2017-07-18
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 11:07 AM
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