He knew what he signed up for . . .
Fury at Trump’s ‘comment to dead soldier’s widow’
DONALD Trump told the pregnant widow of a soldier who died in action that he ‘knew what he signed up for’, it was reported yesterday.
The President was said to have made the remark in a five-minute call to Myeshia Johnson to offer his condolences over the death of her husband, La David, who was one of four US Special Forces troops killed in Niger earlier this month.
He reportedly said that the 25-year- old ‘knew what he signed up for… but when it happens it hurts anyway.’
The remarks were allegedly overheard by Democrat congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who was with the widow when she took the call on Tuesday. Mrs Johnson was on the way to collect her husband’s remains at Miami Airport, where she was filmed sobbing as she leaned over her husband’s flag-draped coffin.
She is six months pregnant with their third child.
Last night Mr Trump denied he had made the remarks, tweeting:
‘He’s a deranged animal’
‘Democrat congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!’
But La David Johnson’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, insisted yesterday that the congresswoman’s account was correct.
She said: ‘I was in the car and I heard the full conversation.’
Mrs Wilson added: ‘Yes, he said it. It’s so insensitive. He should have not have said that. It was almost like saying, “You signed up to do this, and if you didn’t want to die, shouldn’t have signed up”.’
The sergeant and three fellow soldiers were killed by Islamic State-linked fighters in Niger on October 4. The US is investigating the ambush. The President’s failure to comment publicly on the tragedy for 12 days led to a firestorm of criticism. When he broke his silence, Mr Trump claimed wrongly that past presidents often did not call the families of fallen soldiers.
He said on Monday: ‘So the tra- ditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls.’
Mr Trump’s comments provoked fury, with former Obama deputy chief of staff Alyssa Mastromonaco denouncing him on Twitter as ‘a deranged animal’.
White House Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement: ‘President Trump spoke to all four of the families of those who were killed in action in Niger.
‘ He offered condolences on behalf of a grateful nation and assured them their family’s extraordinary sacrifice to the country will never be forgotten.’
Grief: Myeshia Johnson sobs on her husband’s coffin
Killed: La David Johnson, 25