The Latest: Trump calls Florida Rep. Wilson ‘wacky’
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and honoring the nation’s fallen (all times EDT):
President Donald Trump is attacking a Democratic congresswoman who accused him of being insensitive to the widow of an Army sergeant killed in Niger.
Trump tweets, “The Fake News is going crazy with wacky Congresswoman Wilson(D), who was SECRETLY on a very personal call, and gave a total lie on content!”
Sgt. La David Johnson was one of four American soldiers killed in Niger nearly two weeks ago. Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Florida Democrat who was with Johnson’s family when Trump called to offer condolences, said Trump had told the widow that “you know that this could happen when you signed up for it ... but it still hurts.”
Johnson’s aunt said Trump showed “disrespect” to the soldier’s loved ones.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania are attending a gala at the Embassy of Kuwait benefiting the U.N. refugee agency.
Melania Trump is being honored by the Kuwait-American Foundation at a dinner benefiting the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
President Trump has taken a hard line on refugees, trying to temporarily halt their entry into the United States and recently setting the lowest cap on refugees in modern history.
The first lady’s office says she is being honored “for her dedication to causes affecting women and children in the US and abroad.”
It says she “considers this as an opportunity to continue to shine a light on the fact that it is often children who bear the harshest burdens of cruelty and injustice.”
Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is criticizing President Donald Trump for a phone call he made to the family of an Army sergeant killed in Niger.
Cowanda Jones-Johnson said Trump spoke disrespectfully of her nephew, Sgt. La David Johnson, when he called family members Tuesday. Florida Democrat Rep. Frederica Wilson said Trump told the widow “you know that this could happen when you signed up for it ... but it still hurts.”
Baker calls the exchange “incredibly disgraceful and discouraging and depressing” during his monthly radio show. Baker says one of the hardest parts of his job is trying to console the families of fallen soldiers.
Trump has rejected claims he was disrespectful.
The Florida congresswoman who says President Donald Trump disrespected the widow of an Army sergeant killed in Niger is standing by her statement.
A spokeswoman says Democrat Frederica Wilson also has no comment on remarks about her Thursday by White House chief of staff John Kelly.
Kelly defended Trump and says he was “stunned” by the criticism of Trump’s condolence call to the sergeant’s family. Kelly accused Wilson of “selfish behavior.”
Wilson gave a cryptic response when Miami television station WSVN-TV caught up with her Thursday, repeating a phrase she said her mother told her when she was a child. Wilson said: “The dog can bark at the moon all night long but it doesn’t become an issue until the moon barks back.”
The brother of a Marine from Maine who was killed in the crash of an Osprey aircraft says President Donald Trump never reached out to the family, either by letter or phone call.
Capt. Ben Cross of Bethel was one of three Marines killed in the crash in August off the coast of Australia. His older brother, Ryan Cross, who’s an Army veteran, says Trump portrays himself as a champion of the armed forces but it’s “all talk and no action.”
He says it’s upsetting to see the president politicizing fallen military service members.
The Associated Press reached out to the families of all 43 people who have died in military service since Trump became president and made contact with about half the families. Of those who would address the question, more said they had not heard from Trump than said they did.
President Donald Trump’s chief of staff says he is “stunned” and “broken hearted” by the criticism of Trump’s call to the family of an Army sergeant killed in Niger.
John Kelly tells reporters at the White House that the president had expressed his condolences “in the best way that he could.”
The aunt of an Army sergeant killed in Niger said Trump showed “disrespect” to the soldier’s loved ones as he telephoned them to extend condolences as they drove to a Miami airport to receive his body.
Florida Democrat Rep. Frederica Wilson said Trump had told the widow that “you know that this could happen when you signed up for it ... but it still hurts.”
President Donald Trump is rejecting claims he was disrespectful to the grieving family of a slain soldier. But the firestorm he ignited over his assertions of empathy for American service members spread into a third contentious day.
After one slain soldier’s father accused the president of going back on a promise to send a check for $25,000, the White House said the money had been sent.
Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired Marine general whose son was killed in Afghanistan, was left angry and frustrated at the way the issue has become politicized.
The aunt of an Army sergeant killed in Niger says Trump showed “disrespect” to the soldier’s loved ones as he telephoned them to extend condolences.