The military widow at the center of a weeklong controversy with President Donald Trump spoke out against him publicly for the first time Monday morning.
What did she say?
Myeshia Johnson, whose husband — Sgt. La David Johnson — was killed in Niger in early October, spoke with George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America.” She said:
- The phone was on speaker and everyone in the car heard Trump: ”The president said [Sgt. Johnson] ‘knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway.’ It made me cry because I was very angry at the tone in his voice and how he said he couldn’t remember my husband’s name. The only way he remembered my husband’s name was because he had my husband’s report in front of him.”
- The fact Trump didn’t remember Johnson’s name is “what hurt the most”: “He’s out there fighting for our country, why can’t you remember his name? … He was an awesome soldier.”
- She was “very upset” after the phone call: ”Very, very upset and hurt. Very. It made me cry even worse.
- Rep. Frederica Wilson’s (D-Fla.) account of the phone call was true: ”Whatever Mrs. Wilson said was not fabricated. What she said was 100 percent correct.
- She has nothing to say to Trump: ”No, nah, I don’t have nothing to say to him.”
- The government has given her very little information about what happened: ”When they came to my house they just told me that it was a massive gunfire and my husband as of Oct. 4 was missing. They didn’t know his whereabouts, they didn’t know where he was. And a couple of days later, they told me he went from missing to killed in action. I don’t know how he got killed, where he got killed, anything.”
- Officials didn’t let Johnson view her husband’s body: “They won’t let me see anything. I don’t know what’s in that box. It could be empty for all I know.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 23, 2017
Sgt. Johnson was buried on Saturday in Copper City, Florida. About 1,000 people attended his funeral, according to CNN.
U.S. officials were still investigating how Sgt. Johnson, whose body was found a mile from the ambush site, got separated from his team. A search-and-rescue operation by U.S., French and Nigerian troops recovered his remains 48 hours after the attack by Islamic State fighters.
How did Trump respond?
Not long after Johnson’s interview, Trump took to his Twitter account to respond to Johnson’s comments, disputing her charge that he didn’t know her husband’s name.
I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2017