Wednesday 12 December 2018

War widow says Trump struggled to remember her husband's name during controversial call

Sgt. La David T Johnson, 25, who was killed with three other US soldiers in southwest Niger. Photo: Getty Images
Sgt. La David T Johnson, 25, who was killed with three other US soldiers in southwest Niger. Photo: Getty Images Newsdesk Newsdesk

A war widow has spoken out about a call she received from president Trump after her husband was killed while serving abroad.

Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who was among four US service members killed in Niger earlier this month

Myeshia Johnson, spoke to Good Morning America, about a controversial call she had with the president.

"I heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband's name, and that’s what hurt me the most because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risked his life for our country why can’t you remember his name," she said.

"That’s what made me upset and cry even more because my husband was an awesome soldier."

A Florida senator last week sparked a wave of criticism about the call when she revealed that the president told grieving Ms Johnson her husband knew what he signed up for when he entered the military.

Trump denied this detail initially but it was later confirmed by the White House.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly says that he coached Donald Trump on what to say and told him to express to her that her husband had acted honourably in making the decision to accept a dangerous position as a soldier.

Included in the advice was a phrase that has stirred controversy in recent days, and one that Mr Trump has denied he used during the phone call: "He knew what he was getting into."

Mr Kelly clarified the context of that statement as well. Speaking to reporters in the White House, he said that he had counselled Mr Trump not to make the call at all, but that the President had insisted.

"He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew he was getting into by joining that one percent. He knew what the possibilities were because were at war when he died he was surrounded by the best men on this Earth, his friends," Mr Kelly said he advised the President to say.

Speaking today Ms Johnson said the senator's recollection of the call was 100pc correct and added that she had "nothing to say" to the president.

She said she would tell her unborn daughter, who is due in January, that her dad was a "great father" who "died a hero".

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