Speaking by telephone to Myeshia Johnson, the pregnant widow of 25-year-old Sgt. La David Johnson, whose body was returned to Miami Tuesday afternoon, Trump allegedly said that the soldier "knew what he signed up for…but when it happens, it hurts anyway." That's according to Democratic Representative Frederica Wilson, who says she sat in on the call and heard Trump's remarks by speakerphone.
"It's so insensitive. He should not have said that. He shouldn't have said it," Wilson said, speaking to WPLG Local 10 News in Miami.
"This is a young, young woman, who has two children, who is six months pregnant with a third child," Wilson later added, speaking to CNN. "She has just lost her husband. She was just told that he cannot have an open-casket funeral, which gives her all kinds of nightmares –how his body must look, how his face must look – and this is what the president of the United States says to her?"
The congresswoman expanded on her anger via Twitter, accusing the president of lacking "the character, empathy or grace" to be president, and promising to fight for an investigation into the deaths of the four Special Forces troops, including Johnson, who were killed during an operation against Islamist militants in Niger earlier this month.
Sgt. La David Johnson is a hero. @realDonaldTrump does not possess the character, empathy or grace to be president of the United States.— Rep Frederica Wilson (@RepWilson) 18 октября 2017 г.
I certainly will be fighting for an investigation into this travesty. We owe it to the families. https://t.co/S7I4BGQRAi— Rep Frederica Wilson (@RepWilson) 18 октября 2017 г.
Wilson's indignation was soon matched by Twitter, many already outraged over the president's false suggestion that his predecessor Barack Obama did not make calls to the families of US soldiers killed in action. Trump has since backpedaled on those claims.
Veterans and supporters of the military were particularly outraged, some even calling on Trump to resign.
#WednesdayWisdom— Jacob Gil (@jacob4kids) 18 октября 2017 г.
"He knew what he signed up for"
To read these words that were told to the widow of #SgtLaDavidJohnson , a fallen Special Forces Operator makes my blood boil. I'm calling for all Vets to demand Trump resign. Trump does not possess the leadership skills to command pic.twitter.com/tL7MRF0FGI
Others said that Trump's remarks led them to believe that the president may be a "sociopath," or that they demonstrate his insincerity amid the recent NFL taking a knee scandal.
Trump today:— Kanisha Jackson (@Kanisha1Jackson) 18 октября 2017 г.
- threatens John McCain: "At some point I fight back, and it won't be pretty"
- tells widow of fallen Sgt. La David Johnson: "He knew what he signed for"
But kneeling during the anthem is disrespectful to the troops..
Others still pointed to Trump's own rather murky military record.
5 time draft dodger Trump tells widow of fallen Sgt. La David Johnson. ‘He knew what he signed up for.’— Dana Goldberg (@DGComedy) 18 октября 2017 г.
I really really hate him.
Not everyone was shocked, however. Some users suggested that at this point, they are not at all surprised by Trump's antics.
Trump being horrifically insensitive to a military widow is the least surprising thing he’s done his entire time as president.— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) 18 октября 2017 г.
Finally, some users, overcome with emotion, decided to simply send their condolences instead of focusing on Trump.
I cannot even say what I want to say about Trump. To the widow of this soldier, my heart aches for you during this difficult time.— monika perez (@monikapphd) 18 октября 2017 г.
On Wednesday morning, President Trump issued a tweet denying that he made the callous remark, noting that he has proof that Wilson "totally fabricated" what he had said to the widow.
Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 18 октября 2017 г.