The widow of a fallen solider disputed the mainstream media's portrayal of President Donald Trump on Friday when she released audio of a phone call she had with the president after her husband was killed earlier this year.
Natasha De Alencar's husband of 15 years, Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, was killed in Afghanistan in April during a firefight with jihadis from the Islamic State. He was a member of the 7th Special Forces Group.
Four days after learning of her husband's death, De Alencar received a call from Trump. She was surrounded by her five children and an Army casualty assistance officer when the call came in. One of her children video recorded the phone conversation, which lasted just under four minutes.
What did Trump say?
"I am so sorry to hear about the whole situation. What a horrible thing, except that he’s an unbelievable hero and you know all of the people that he served with him are saying how incredible he was and just an amazing, an amazing guy and I wanted to call you and tell you that he's an amazing hero," Trump told De Alencar.
The two then talked about De Alencar's husband and their children. Trump also extended an invite to Washington D.C., and told De Alencar she is welcome in the Oval Office.
"If you’re around Washington, you come over and see me in the Oval Office, OK?" Trump said. "You just come over and see me because you are just the kind of family that we want."
What did she think of the phone call?
De Alencar told the Washington Post the conversation helped ground her as she was experiencing the toughest moment of her life.
"At that moment when my world was upside down and me and my kids didn’t know which way we were going, it felt like I was talking to just another regular human," she said. "It was a moment of niceness that we needed because we were going through hell."
Why did she release the video?
De Alencar told the Post she chose to release the video of her conservation after reporters began to call her and ask if she received a call from Trump after her husband's death. There has been debate surrounding Trump's etiquette when addressing Gold Star families after a Democratic congresswoman claimed Trump told a recently slain soldier's family that he "knew was he signed up for."
"I just decided that since the question was being asked...there was no better of seeing it than showing it," de Alencar said.
"I posted that video so that everyone could see that not only myself, not only my family, not only the people gave support, but the commander in chief also helped," she added.