Soldier's widow says Trump call made things worse

Myeshia Johnson, widow of Sgt La David Johnson said her condolence call with Donald Trump 'made me cry even worse', speaking publicly for the first time on Monday

Myeshia Johnson at her husband's coffin at his funeral in Hollywood, Florida (Photo: BBC News)
Myeshia Johnson at her husband's coffin at his funeral in Hollywood, Florida (Photo: BBC News)

Johnson also added that Trump forgot her husband’s name. “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”.

US President Donald Trump countered this, in a tweet, saying that he “spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!”

Nineteen days after her husband was killed in action in west Africa, Johnson spoke to Good Morning America about her call with Trump, which she claimed made her “very upset and hurt”.

She said the president told her in the call last week that her husband “‘knew what he signed up for”.

“It made me cry cause I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said he couldn’t remember my husband’s name”, she added.

 “I didn’t say anything,” she said. “I just listened.”

Trump claimed that Wilson’s account of the call was “totally fabricated” but her account was confirmed by Cowanda Jones-Johnson, who raised the soldier from the age of five, after his mother died.

White House chief of staff John Kelly in effect corroborated Wilson’s account at a press conference, saying he advised Trump on how to make the call from his experience of being told his son Robert was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

Kelly said his friend, Gen Joseph Dunford, told him his son “was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed”.

“He knew what the possibilities were, because we’re at war,” Kelly said. “That’s what the president tried to say to the four families the other day.”

Johnson was one of four Americans killed on 4 October in an ambush of US forces in Niger. The dispute has revived concerns about the incident, in which five Nigerien soldiers were also killed.

On Sunday, Wilson said that the ambush was the equivalent of the deadly 2011 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, over which Republicans in Congress pursued Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state when the attack happened.

Senators from both parties have urged the White House to provide more information about the fatal attack.

Sgt Johnson was buried in Florida on Saturday.

More in World

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition