Widow of fallen soldier breaks silence on Trump’s condolence call; president defends himself

The wife of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson spoke out for the first time Monday, after the combat death of her husband led to a political fight between President Trump and a Florida congresswoman. 

Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson and Trump have traded barbs for nearly a week on the controversy stemming from the President’s condolence call to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, one of the soldiers killed in the ambush in Niger earlier this month.

Wilson, who is close to Johnson’s family and was in the car when Trump’s call came, claimed that Trump said Johnson “knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurts.” The family member who raised Johnson called Wilson’s account of the call “very accurate,” and the White House has not refuted that Trump spoke those words.

In an interview on “Good Morning America” Monday, Myeshia Johnson claimed “what (Florida Democrat Rep. Frederica Wilson Wilson) said was 100 percent correct.”

La David Johnson was among four who died Oct. 4 in Niger when they were attacked by militants tied to the Islamic State. Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia, were killed along with Johnson in Niger.

Wilson was riding with the family of Johnson to meet the body and said she heard the call from the president on speakerphone.

The president has denied the accusation, at one point tweeting: “Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!”

Again on Monday, he defended his call, saying he was “respectful” and did not forget the slain soldier’s name. He addressed it on Twitter after Myeshia’s interview on GMA:

Myeshia Johnson said on GMA the president did say her husband “knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway.”

She said after receiving Trump’s call she was “very upset and hurt” and that it “made me cry even worse.” She also claimed Trump didn’t remember her husband’s name.

“It made me cry,” she said. “I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said it.”

When asked on GMA if she wanted to say anything to Trump, Myeshia Johnson said she has “nothing to say.”

Continuing coverage here.