Trump Denies Telling Army Widow Her Husband ‘Knew What He Signed Up For’

By on Oct 18, 2017


President Trump spoke at a meeting of the Heritage Foundation’s President’s Club on Tuesday in Washington.

Tom Brenner/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump has denied a congresswoman’s account that he told a grieving soldier’s widow in a phone call that the soldier “knew what he signed up for,” saying on Wednesday that the Democratic representative’s description was “totally fabricated.”

Representative Frederica Wilson, Democrat of Florida, recounted details of Mr. Trump’s phone call with Sgt. La David T. Johnson’s widow. On Tuesday, Ms. Wilson was in the car with the widow, Myeshia Johnson, and said she overheard the phone call from the president, who was on speakerphone. Sergeant Johnson, a Green Beret, was killed in an ambush in Niger earlier this month that killed three other soldiers and injured two.

Ms. Wilson said that during the call, the president told Ms. Johnson “something to the fact that he knew what he was getting into when he signed up,” the congresswoman said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday.


Representative Frederica Wilson, Democrat of Florida, speaking at a news conference on Capitol Hill in 2014.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

“But that’s not the worst part,” Ms. Wilson said. “She was crying the whole time and when she hung up the phone she looked at me and said ‘he didn’t even remember his name.’ That’s the hurting part.”

Mr. Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday and disputed the account.

Mr. Trump did not say what proof he had.

Sergeant Johnson, 25, was from Miami Gardens, Fla., the Defense Department said. He and Ms. Johnson had two children, and Ms. Johnson is pregnant.

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