Family of slain sergeant says Trump showed "disrespect"
WASHINGTON (AP) — The mother of an Army sergeant killed in Niger said today President Donald Trump, in a call offering condolences, showed "disrespect" to the soldier's loved ones as they drove to the airport to meet his body.
Trump, engulfed in controversy over the appropriate way for presidents to show compassion for slain soldiers, strongly disputed that account.
Sgt. La David Johnson was one of four American military personnel killed nearly two weeks ago whose families had not heard from Trump until Tuesday. Rep. Frederica Wilson said Trump told the widow that Johnson "knew what he signed up for."
The Florida Democrat said she was in the car with the widow, Myeshia Johnson, on the way to Miami International Airport to meet the body when Trump called. La David Johnson's mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, told The Associated Press today the congresswoman's account was correct.
"Yes the statement is true," Jones-Johnson said. "I was in the car and I heard the full conversation. Not only did he disrespect my son," but he disrespected his wife and me and my husband.
That's simply not so, Trump said today. He declared on Twitter: "Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!"
But Wilson did not back down from her account, adding the president at one point could not remember the slain sergeant's name.
"It's disgraceful for him to even tweet about this," she told CNN. She added a personal insult: "And as I say, this gentleman has a brain disorder and he needs to be checked out."