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Donald Trump ‘made me cry’: widow of US soldier La David Johnson

The widow of late Sgt La David Johnson has said US President Donald Trump struggled to remember her husband’s name when he called to offer his condolences.

world Updated: Oct 23, 2017 22:06 IST
Agencies, Washington
US President Donald Trump,Myeshia Johnson,Sgt La David Johnson
File photo taken on October 21, 2017 shows Myeshia Johnson as she kisses the casket of her husband, Sgt La David Johnson, during his burial service at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery in Hollywood, Florida. President Donald Trump struggled to remember the name of the soldier killed in an ambush in Niger when he called Myeshia Johnson for condolences, the woman told ABC. (AFP)

President Donald Trump struggled to remember the name of the US soldier killed in an ambush in Niger when he called the man’s pregnant widow for condolences, the woman told ABC on Monday.

“Yes, the president said that he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyways and I was – it made me cry because I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said it,” Myeshia Johnson, the widow of late Sgt La David Johnson, said on the Good Morning America programme.

She contradicted Trump’s account of his phone call and said what he told her “made me cry even worse”.

“He couldn’t remember my husband’s name. The only way he could remember my husband’s name was he told me he had my husband’s report in front of him and that’s when he actually said La David,” she said.

The widow, pregnant with the couple’s third child, said she “heard (Trump) stumbling on trying to remember my husband’s name and that hurt me the most because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risks his life for our country, why can’t you remember his name?”

That, she said, “made me upset and cry even more because my husband was an awesome soldier”.

Trump responded quickly via Twitter. “I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!” he said.

Johnson was among four US soldiers killed in an ambush on October 4 in Niger, where Islamic State fighters have established a presence. The Miami native’s body was returned home on October 17.

Johnson told the TV show in an interview that Democratic representative Frederica Wilson was practically a member of their family and was among a group of people listening to Trump’s call on a speaker phone as they drove to receive La David Johnson’s body.

“Whatever Ms Wilson said was not fabricated,” Johnson said in her first interview since her husband’s death. “What she said was 100% correct.”

The war of words between the president and Wilson began on October 17 when the congresswoman recounted Trump’s conversation.

Trump tweeted earlier that Wilson “fabricated” his statement and the fight escalated through the week. Trump, in other tweets, called her “wacky” and accused her of “SECRETLY” listening to the phone call.

Johnson said everyone in the car was listening to Trump’s call. “The phone was on speaker phone. Why would we fabricate something like that?”

Asked if she had anything to say to Trump now, Johnson said, “No, I don’t have nothing to say to him.”

First Published: Oct 23, 2017 18:51 IST