MIAMI (AP) — The pregnant widow of a fallen U.S. soldier on Monday contradicted President Donald Trump’s account of his phone call about her husband’s death and said what he told her “made me cry even worse.”
Myeshia Johnson told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in an interview that Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson was practically a member of their family and was among a group of people listening to Trump’s call on a speaker phone as they drove to receive Sgt. La David Johnson’s body.
“The president said that he knew what he signed up for but it hurts anyway,” Johnson said. “And it made me cry because I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said it. He couldn’t remember my husband’s name. The only way he could remember my husband’s name was he told me he had my husband’s report in front of him and that’s when he actually said La David.”
“Whatever Ms. Wilson said was not fabricated,” Johnson said in her first interview since her husband’s death. “What she said was 100 percent correct.”
Sgt. Johnson and three comrades died Oct. 4 in Africa when militants tied to the Islamic State attacked them.
She said she also wants to know why she hasn’t been allowed to see her husband’s body. He was buried on Saturday.
“I need to see him so I will know that that is my husband,” she said. “They won’t show me a finger, a hand. I know my husband’s body from head to toe. And they won’t let me see anything. I don’t know what’s in that box. It could be empty for all I know. But I need to see my husband. I haven’t seen him since he came home.”
Trump tweeted that Wilson “fabricated” his statement and the fight escalated through the week. Trump in other tweets called her “wacky” and accused her of “SECRETLY” listening to the phone call.
Johnson said everyone in the car was listening to Trump’s call. “The phone was on speaker phone. Why would we fabricate something like that?”
Asked if she had anything to say to Trump now, Johnson said, “No, I don’t have nothing to say to him.”
Trump addressed the call on Twitter Monday after Myeshia Johnson, La David Johnson’s widow, appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” She said that in Trump’s call to her last week he “couldn’t remember my husband’s name.”
Johnson added: “The only way he could remember my husband’s name was he told me he had my husband’s report in front of him and that’s when he actually said La David.”
On Twitter, Trump said: “I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!”
The war of words between the president and Wilson began Tuesday when the Florida congresswoman recounted Trump’s conversation.
Wilson has been a friend of the Johnson family for years and Sgt. Johnson was in her 5000 Role Models program that pairs African-American boys with mentors who prepare them for college, vocational school or the military.
Johnson said she had known her husband since they were about 6 years old.
Johnson said she wants the world to know “how great of a soldier my husband was.” She also said he was “a loving and caring father and husband.”
She said she learned her husband was missing in action when military members came to her house.
“They told me there was a massive gunfire and that my husband, as of Oct. 4 was missing,” she said. “They didn’t know his whereabouts or they didn’t know where he was or where to find him. A couple of days later is when they told me he went from missing to killed in action.”