Kelly reportedly angered with politicization of soldiers deaths
by Kiley Crossland
Posted 10/18/17, 05:40 pm
UPDATE: President Donald Trump’s comments this week about contacting families of fallen soldiers continues to elicit reactions from some involved. Cowanda Jones-Johnson, the mother of fallen soldier Sgt. La David Johnson, came to the defense of her daughter-in-law on Wednesday, saying she was in the car with her son’s widow when the president called on Tuesday and overheard Trump saying that Sgt. Johnson “knew what he signed up for.” Trump continues to deny the report. One father of a fallen soldier told The Washington Post on Wednesday that Trump said on the phone he would personally send the father a check for $25,000, but the check never came. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Wednesday that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is “disgusted” that the president’s handling of military deaths has become “politicized.” Sanders said Kelly, whose son, 1st Lt. Robert Kelly, died in Afghanistan in 2010, was frustrated that “the focus has become on the process and not that American lives were lost.”
OUR EARLIER REPORT (12:45 p.m.): President Donald Trump on Wednesday disputed a report by a congresswoman of a conversation he had with the widow of a fallen solider. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., told news outlets Trump told Myeshia Johnson, widow of slain Sgt. La David Johnson, that her husband “knew what he signed up for” in a phone conversation on Tuesday. Sgt. Johnson was one of four soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger in early October. Trump responded on Wednesday via Twitter that Wilson “totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action.” The back-and-forth is the latest in a controversy surrounding comments Trump made Monday when asked why he had not yet contacted the families of the four soldiers killed in Niger. Trump said he had written letters and was planning to make calls but that previous presidents have not all made calls.
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Kiley is a former WORLD correspondent.