Trump didn’t remember the name of slain US soldier in call to widow, congresswoman says

Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson was killed in Niger.
Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson was killed in Niger.
Image: US Dept. of Defense
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A condolence call from Donald Trump left a US Army sergeant’s pregnant widow in tears, according to a congresswoman who was traveling with the woman on the way to pick up the soldier’s body.

“She was crying the whole time, and when she hung up the phone, she looked at me and said ‘He didn’t even remember his name,'” Frederica Wilson, a Florida Democrat, told MSNBC this morning (Oct. 18).

Trump had called Myeshia Johnson, whose husband Sgt. La David T. Johnson was among four American servicemen killed earlier this month in an ambush in Niger, while she was in a car headed to the Miami airport. During the call, which Wilson said was on speakerphone, Trump was “almost, like, joking,” Wilson said, reiterating details she had given to the Miami Herald. She said Trump said Johnson “knew what he was getting into when he signed up, but I guess it hurts anyway.” Wilson described the incident as “horrible, insensitive.”

Trump denies her account, and took to Twitter to accuse Wilson of lying.

Trump has claimed several times to have proof that a critic is lying, without ever producing that proof, including about women who accused him of sexual assault, and his conversations with former FBI director James Comey.

Wilson, who represents the district where Myeshia Johnson lives, has questioned the circumstances of Johnson’s death in a letter to James Mattis, the US secretary of defense. The US has released little detail about the incident, which officials say is under investigation, other than saying American troops were accompanying Niger forces and were ambushed by ISIL-affiliated fighters. “I want answers surrounding his death,” Wilson said today.

His widow sobbed at the sight of her husband’s casket after it arrived in Miami.

An online fundraising campaign for the couple’s children has raised over $250,000.