Washington, Oct 19 (IANS) The US President said on Wednesday that a congresswoman had lied about his conversation with the widow of an American soldier killed in an ambush early this month in the northern African nation of Niger.
Donald Trump took to Twitter to slam Republican Frederica Wilson, a Democrat from Florida, who said the head of state had told US Army Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow that her husband “knew what he signed up for… but when it happens it hurts anyway.”
“Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!” Trump tweeted.
Wilson, meanwhile, told CNN Wednesday that she also had her own evidence.
“I have proof, too. This man is a sick man,” Wilson said in response to Trump’s tweet, adding that Johnson’s widow was in tears after the phone call and that the president did not even know the soldier’s name.
The body of the army sergeant, one of four US servicemen who died in an October 4 ambush in Niger, was received with honors at Miami International Airport at a ceremony attended by authorities, the soldier’s widow and other family members.
Wilson said she was with Johnson’s widow when she received the phone call from Trump and heard a portion of the conversation.
This latest controversy comes just days after Trump sparked outrage by saying his predecessors had not made phone calls to the families of soldiers killed in combat.
“The traditional way, if you look at President (Barack) Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls,” Trump said in a press conference Monday at the White House when asked why he had not yet spoken publicly about the soldiers killed in Niger.
When he was pressed by a journalist who said Obama had made calls to fallen soldiers, Trump backtracked but not fully.
“President Obama, I think, probably did sometimes, and maybe sometimes he didn’t, I don’t know, that’s what I was told … And some presidents didn’t do anything,” Trump said.
Amid a wave of criticism over his remarks, Trump suggested that his chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, did not receive a phone call from Obama after one of his sons was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010.
“I don’t know. I mean, you could ask General Kelly. Did he get a call from Obama? You could ask other people. I don’t know what Obama’s policy was. I write letters and I also call,” Trump said in a radio interview Tuesday with Fox News.
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