Widow of fallen soldier hits out at US president

Miami, Monday

The widow of a fallen US soldier says President Trump could not remember her husband’s name during a controversial phone call. Myeshia Johnson (pictured), widow of Sgt La David Johnson, told ABC News the president’s “stumbling” had “hurt her the most”.

“If my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risks his life for our country, why can’t you remember his name?” she added. Sgt La David Johnson was killed in Niger by Islamist militants this month.

Trump’s call of condolence made headlines when congresswoman Frederica Wilson — who heard it with the family — claimed he had been insensitive. Myeshia appeared to confirm Wilson’s claim that the president had said the soldier had known what he had signed up for when joining the military.

“The president said that he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway. It made me cry because I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said it,” she said. “He had my husband’s report in front of him, and that’s when he actually said La David. I heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband’s name,” she said.

Trump has disputed the account of the call given by Wilson and he also defended himself on Twitter writing: “I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!” Sgt Johnson was one of four US special forces soldiers killed in a jihadist ambush on October 4 in Niger, where Islamic State fighters have established a presence.

Trump had already been criticised for not contacting the families of the dead servicemen right after they were killed. The widow, who is pregnant with the couple’s third child, said the call“made me upset and cry even more because my husband was an awesome soldier.” The Miami native’s body was returned home on October 17. —BBC & AFP

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