Tags: frederica wilson | focus | green beret | death

Florida Rep. Wilson: Focus Now on Green Beret's Death

(CNN's "New Day")

By    |   Friday, 20 October 2017 09:43 AM

Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson Friday said her emphasis is changing from comments she says President Donald Trump made during his conversation with a Gold Star widow to concern about the slain Green Beret and his last moments.

"My emphasis today is on my constituents and helping them lay our hero to rest," the Democratic congresswoman told CNN's "New Day" program. "I'm also concerned about him and his last moments."

Wilson sparked controversy earlier this week after she reported she heard Trump's phone call to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of slain Green Beret Sgt. La David Johnson, and that he'd told the 24-year-old widow that her husband "knew what he signed up for ... but when it happens it hurts anyway."

Johnson was killed along with three fellow Green Berets, 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.

Wilson said Friday she wants to know why Johnson was separated from the rest of the soldiers on the patrol, and why it took 48 hours to find him.

"Was he still alive?" she said. "Was he kidnapped? What's going on? I thought you were supposed to put your comrade across your shoulder and get on the helicopter with the dead and the wounded. Why did they leave him? I am distraught and so is the family."

Wilson said it's also "painful" to Johnson's family that there will not be an open-casket funeral.

Wilson has continued to come under fire from Trump, who in a tweet late Thursday called her "wacky" and accused her of lying about what he'd said.

Chief of Staff John Kelly, whose son died in the line of duty in Afghanistan, also on Thursday denounced Wilson, accusing her of politicizing a "sacred" presidential effort to console the grieving loved ones of a slain soldier.

Kelly also accused Wilson of grandstanding at the dedication of a Miami FBI office in 2015, and she had strong words about those claims.

"I heard his remarks and I heard him say that I bragged that I secured the money for the building of the FBI building in Miramar, and that's a lie," said Wilson. "I feel sorry for Gen. Kelly. He has my sympathy for the loss of his son. But he can't just go on TV and lie on me. I was not even in Congress in 2009 when the money for the building was secured. So that's a lie. How dare he?"

She also hit back at Kelly's comments that she is an "empty barrel," telling Alisyn Camerota that the words are a "racist term."

"We looked it up in the dictionary because I had never heard of an empty barrel," she said. "And I don't like to be dragged into something like that."

Kelly had also commented that he'd told Trump about the words he'd heard when his own son died, that he'd known what he was getting into, but that he died surrounded by friends.

"That is not a good message to say to anyone who has lost a child at war," Wilson said. "You don't sign up because you knew you're going to die. You sign up to serve your country. And when he says he died surrounded by his friends, [Johnson] was abandoned. That did not apply to him."

Every family is different, she continued, "and when you have a young mother who is six months pregnant with two small kids, you say, 'I am so sorry that you have lost your husband. Myeshia Johnson.' You call her by her name and you say your husband. You don't say your guy. They were married."

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Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson Friday said her emphasis is changing from comments she says President Donald Trump made during his conversation with a Gold Star widow to concern about the slain Green Beret and his last moments.
frederica wilson, focus, green beret, death
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2017-43-20
Friday, 20 October 2017 09:43 AM
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