Trump, who had accused Rep. Frederica Wilson of fabricating the statement, fired back on Twitter, saying: "I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt".
President Donald Trump on Monday disputed a widow's account of a condolence call he made to her following the death of her husband in Niger earlier this month. On Tuesday, Trump called the family of Sgt. Johnson and according to Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson, Trump told Myeshia Johnson that her husband "knew what he signed up for. The only way he remembered my husband's name was because he told me he had my husband's report in front of him, and that's when he actually said La David". You know, John Kelly is nearly - I guess you could say he was a puppet of the president and what he was trying to do was divert the attention away from the president on to me, and he basically just lied on me.
She revealed his tone made her cry and he struggled to remember her husband's name.
The escalating political mud fight has overshadowed the grief of Mrs Myeshia Johnson and the heroism of her dead husband, Sergeant La David Johnson, who gave his life for his country. "They told me there was a massive gunfire and that my husband, as of October 4 was missing", she said.
John Kelly told reporters at the White House that Trump had expressed his condolences "in the best way that he could".
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Trump also called Wilson's claim Kelly made the remarks about her to keep his job "sickening". "I know my husband's body from head to toe".
Trump's broadside came a day after the White House defended Chief of Staff John F. Kelly after he mischaracterized Wilson's remarks at a 2015 Federal Bureau of Investigation building dedication and called her an "empty barrel" making noise.
Wilson was riding with the family of Johnson to meet the body and said she heard the call from the president on speakerphone. "I don't know what's in that box".
Johnson said Monday that Wilson's account was accurate. "It could be empty for all I know".
"The questions that I have that I need answered is I want to know why it took them 48 hours to find my husband", she told Stephanopoulos.
His godsister, Lakia Smith, said Johnson would always come watch her at cheerleading practice. And Johnson said her uncle-in-law was Wilson's elementary school principal.