Adams, Butterfield blast Trump over Gold Star widow flap

Adams, Butterfield blast Trump over Gold Star widow flap
October 26
06:00 2017

In the midst of last week’s blazing controversy concerning President Donald Trump’s alleged insensitive remarks to a Gold Star widow upon her husband’s death, and the president and Chief of Staff John Kelly’s lambasting of a Florida congresswoman who criticized  Trump afterward, both North Carolina black congressional members are outraged, and say the White House owes apologies to the dead soldier’s family, the congresswoman and the nation.
“It is embarrassing that this administration is more concerned about belittling a sitting congresswoman than getting answers for the families of these fallen heroes,” U.S. Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12) said in a statement Monday.

Adams and her North Carolina colleague, U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1), joined the chorus of criticism against Trump, Kelly (who is also a retired four-star Marine general who lost his son in combat in 2010), and the rest of the administration for effectively calling U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla) a liar when she alleged that on a condolence call to Myeshia Johnson, the pregnant widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed during an Oct. 4th ambush in the African country of Niger with three colleagues, that Trump matter-of-factly told Mrs. Johnson by speakerphone on Oct. 17, “ …he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway…,” and didn’t even refer to her late husband by name.

“That’s what hurt me the most, because if my husband is out here fighting for our country, and he risked his life for our country, why can’t you remember his name? And that’s what made me upset and cry even more, because my husband was an awesome soldier,” Mrs. Johnson told ABC News on Monday.

Trump, in a series of angry tweets, denied saying that, and Gen. Kelly then publicly blasted Congresswoman Wilson, calling her “an empty barrel” during a White House briefing last week.
Rep. Adams wasn’t having it.

“Rep. Wilson has been a principled leader and servant to her South Florida constituents, many of whom she’s come to love like family, for decades,” Adams says. “She continued this record of service last week when she visited with the family of fallen hero Sergeant La David Johnson, who graduated from her mentorship program 5000 Role Models of Excellence. While President Trump spent the weekend at his golf course tweeting about football, Rep. Wilson attended Sergeant Johnson’s funeral and continues to call for answers to what happened in Niger.”
Rep. Wilson has also been a leading proponent of rescuing 276 school girls from the Nigerian town of Chibok who were kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram in April 2014.
Congressman Butterfield was just as flabbergasted.

“I find it appalling that President Trump was unable to simply offer condolences to a Gold Star wife and express gratitude for the sacrifice her husband made on behalf of our nation.  Instead, he decided to not only attack a sitting member of Congress in an attempt to impugn her integrity, but today he had the audacity to attack Sgt. La David Johnson’s grieving widow on her account of their phone call.  I stand with Congresswoman Wilson, who is a dedicated public servant, and I believe the White House owes her an apology for their petty insults and false statements.”
Adding more proverbial salt to the open wound, Gen. Kelly went on at that press briefing to strongly suggest that Wilson was a lying showoff who previously boasted about raising the money needed to get a new FBI building built in Florida in 2015. A video of the event actually proved Kelly wrong (Wilson wasn’t even in Congress when that money was appropriated), but that didn’t stop President Trump from still attacking Rep. Wilson as “wacky” and a liability to Democrats.

On Monday, Mrs. Johnson, a day after burying her husband, confirmed to ABC News Congresswoman Wilson’s version of events, further indicating that she felt the president disrespected her late husband’s memory, leaving her “angry and in tears.”

All of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) was livid with the White House, but on Monday, Congresswoman Adams led the female members of the CBC in standing up for their colleague, Rep. Wilson.

“We were appalled by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s statements where he called Congresswoman Wilson an ‘empty barrel’ and accused her of taking credit for securing funding for a new FBI Building in Miramar, Florida …,” the CBC women’s statement said.
“General Kelly’s comments are reprehensible,” it continued. “Congresswoman Wilson’s integrity and credibility should not be challenged or undermined by such blatant lies. We, the women of the Congressional Black Caucus, proudly stand with Congresswoman Wilson and demand that General Kelly apologize to her without delay and take responsibility for his reckless and false statements.”

Meanwhile, news is just starting to filter out of Niger this week as to exactly what happened in the Oct. 4 ambush that claimed the four American servicemen’s lives. U.S. Rep. Butterfield says that is what the president, and the nation, should be focused on.
“We should be mourning the passing of Sgt. La David Johnson and honoring his service to our country,” Butterfield said. “I offer my sincerest condolences to Sgt. La David Johnson’s wife and pray that she and Sgt. Johnson’s family find peace in this tragedy.”

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Cash Michaels

Cash Michaels

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