Trump Refutes Story That He Told Sergeant’s Widow “He Knew What He Signed Up For”

“How could you say that to a grieving widow?”

Shealah Craighead/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday hit back at a congresswoman’s account of a phone call he had with the family of a fallen soldier in which he remarked that the deceased “knew what he signed up for.” 

The denial comes after Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) said she heard the president’s call while riding in a car with the widow of Sgt. Army La David Johnson on Tuesday, shortly before Johnson’s remains arrived at Miami International Airport. While in the car, Trump called to offer his condolences over speakerphone. “Sarcastically, he said: ‘But, you know, he must’ve known what he signed up for,'” Wilson told NBC Miami. “How could you say that to a grieving widow?”

“I couldn’t believe—and he said it more than once,” she continued. “So I said, ‘This man has no feelings for anyone.’ This is a young woman with child.”

Johnson’s mother confirmed Wilson’s account.”President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband,” she told the Washington Post

Johnson was one of four service members killed on October 4 during a militant attack in Niger.

Wilson’s account follows Trump’s false claim on Monday that former presidents, namely Barack Obama, did not reach out to the families of slain soldiers. The next day, Trump specifically suggested Obama did not call current White House chief of staff John Kelly after his son, Robert Kelly was killed serving in Afghanistan in 2010.

This story has been updated.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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