Speaking at a press briefing Thursday afternoon, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly put to bed the recent controversy over whether President Trump slighted the grieving wife of a dead soldier.
Army Sgt. La David Johnson was one of four special forces soldiers recently killed in an ambush in Niger. Attacking the president, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., claimed that President Trump insensitively told Johnson’s pregnant widow on a phone call that her husband “knew what he signed up for.”
Gen. Kelly set the record straight, explaining that the president “expressed his condolences in the best way that he could.”
Kelly: "[President Trump] called four people the other day, and expressed his condolences in the best way that he could." pic.twitter.com/UvsaK9lD2a— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) October 19, 2017
Trump also drew controversy for suggesting this week that previous presidents did not call members of Gold Star families, preferring to write. Kelly verified the president’s comments.
Kelly says presidents don't call all Gold Star families: "Pres. Obama, who was my commander-in-chief, did not call my family" after son died pic.twitter.com/PBuPM5vPhS— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 19, 2017
Kelly said he was “stunned” and “broken-hearted” upon seeing what Rep. Frederica Wilson did, listening in on a conversation between President Trump and a grieving Gold Star wife.
John Kelly slams Rep. Frederica Wilson, says he was "stunned" and "broken-hearted" by her criticism of the call https://t.co/56WEVcUfx7— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 19, 2017
“It stuns me that a member of Congress would listen in on that conversation. Absolutely stuns me,” Kelly said. “And I thought, at least that was sacred.”
He admonished the media to keep the sacrifice of our soldiers sacred.
At the close of his remarks, Gen. Kelly beautifully reminded us all that our soldiers are the best of us.
White House chief of staff John Kelly: "They don't do it for any other reason than their sense of selfless devotion to this great nation." pic.twitter.com/kDjFSBk0mn— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 19, 2017