In another turn of events from earlier this week, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Thursday he was “stunned and broken-hearted” over the comments that Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) made after President Trump called the widow of a soldier who was killed in Niger two weeks ago.
Kelly came to the aid of the President who was criticized in how he tried to comfort the widow of SGT La David Johnson of the 3rd Special Forces Group. “There’s no perfect way to make that phone call,” said Kelly, who appeared at a regular White House press briefing. “It’s not the phone call parents, family members are looking forward to,” he said.
Kelly said the comments Trump made to Army Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson, were similar to those spoken to him after his son was killed in Afghanistan. “He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed,” Kelly said. “He knew what he was getting into when he joined” the military. “And when he died he was surrounded by the best men on this Earth, his friends,” said Kelly. “That’s what the president tried to say to the four families yesterday.”
Kelly said that the conversation in the aftermath of a military death is one of the only aspects of American life that has not been politicized. Yet, “it eroded a great deal yesterday by the selfish behavior of a member of Congress,” he said. “I thought at least that was sacred,” he said.
Trump on Wednesday denied telling the widow of a U.S. soldier killed by Islamic State-linked militants in Niger that her husband knew “what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurts.”
Kelly spoke about his own son’s death in the Global War on Terror (GWOT) and how difficult that time was. Trump took to Twitter to lambast Rep. Wilson over her comments, calling her actions, “sad.”
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