Donald Trump’s clash with a Florida Congresswoman over his comments to the widow of a U.S. soldier could be a tipping point in his presidency, shredding what’s left of his credibility and exposing his gross politicization of the military and national symbols.
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla) caused the uproar when she said Trump was “disrespectful” to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed with three other soldiers in Niger.
He told the widow her husband “knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt,” Wilson said.
Widow Myeshia Johnson was also upset because Trump did not know her husband’s name. He referred to him as “your guy,” according to Wilson.
“It was horrible. It was insensitive. It was absolutely crazy, unnecessary. I was livid,” said Wilson.
“She was in tears. She was in tears. And she said, ‘He didn’t even remember his name.’”
The comments left the woman emotionally shattered, said Wilson, who overhead the conversation on a speaker phone in a car taking Johnson’s widow to claim the body.
Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017
Johnson’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson told The Washington Post she also was in the car with her son’s widow.
“President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband,” she told the paper.
Jones-Johnson also corroborated Wilson’s account of the conversation.
Trump inflamed the situation with a Tweet this morning.
“Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!” he wrote.
So far, the White House has yet to provide the “proof.”
The controversy dominated the morning news cycle, and raised serious questions not only about Trump’s credibility, but also his mental state.
The blowup closely follows Trump’s equally disrespectful comments about former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. He claimed neither predecessor called families of fallen soldiers.
He doubled down on the falsehood by claiming Obama never called former Gen. and Current Chief of Staff John Kelly. His son, Robert, was killed in 2010 in Afghanistan.
“You could ask Gen. Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?” Trump urged reporters at a news conference.
In fact, Obama hosted a private breakfast for Kelly and other Gold Star parents to express his personal grief over their loss.
Kelly has tried to keep his son’s death private, according to various news reports.
During the 2016 election, Trump insulted Vietnam War veteran John McCain and Gold Star mother and father Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son was killed in combat.
Trump has repeatedly praised the military and first-responders in various speeches and bragged about contacting the families of fallen soldiers with letters and calls.
He’s tried for the past month to make protests over racial injustice by NFL players into an issue of respect for the National Anthem and the flag.
He’s Tweeted extensively about the NFL controversy, but waited 10 days before mentioning the U.S. soldier’s deaths.
His callous remarks to Johnson’s widow raises questions about his sincerity and what now appears to be a cynical effort to politicize our national symbols.
Trump evaded the draft during the Vietnam war by claiming he had “bone spurs” on his feet.
The heated controversy spilled over on today’s ABC talk show “The View.”
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