Monday 23 September 2019

Donald Trump tells grieving widow of US soldier 'he knew what he signed up for' minutes before she wept over coffin

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Tom Embury-Dennis

Donald Trump told the widow of a US soldier killed in Niger “he knew what he signed up for” before she wept over his coffin, according to a congresswoman.

Lance Sergeant David Johnson was among four Green Berets killed when their patrol was ambushed by Islamist militants in the African country.

Myesha Johnson was riding in a limousine with her family to meet the casket at Miami International Airport when Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who was travelling with the family, overheard a phone call from the President.

Speaking to CNN, Ms Wilson said: "Basically he said, 'Well I guess he knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurts’.”

"I heard what he said because the phone was on speaker."

The Florida Representative said the mother-of-two, who had just been told her husband’s casket would be closed for the funeral, was already having “nightmares” over “how his body must look”.

“Everyone knows when you go to war you could possibly not come back alive, but you don't remind a grieving widow of that. That is so insensitive. So insensitive,” Ms Wilson had earlier told WPLG.

Mr Trump has been criticised for his lack of a response to the deaths of military personnel in Niger on 4 October.

Asked on Monday at a press conference why he had not publicly spoken about the issue, the President falsely accused Barack Obama of failing to make phone calls to fallen soldiers’ families.

“The traditional 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,” he said.

The Independent has contacted the White House for comment, but a spokesperson for the administration told CNN: “The President's conversations with the families of American heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice are private."

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