President Donald Trump denied ever telling the widow of a fallen soldier that her husband knew “what he signed up for” and accused Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson that she “totally fabricated” what he had told the widow.
“Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!” the president said on Twitter on Wednesday.
Wilson called Trump “liar” and claimed she had overheard him tell the widow “he knew what he signed up for … but when it happens, it hurts anyway,” adding that the president didn’t even know La David Johnson’s name, Politico reports.
She believes Trump demonstrated insensitivity by making such remarks because “everyone knows when you go to war, you could possibly not come back alive. But you don’t remind a grieving widow of that.”
Wilson’s assertions were corroborated by the soldier’s mother, who told The Washington Post Trump showed disrespect toward her dead son, as well as toward the rest of her family.
Even though it not clear what “proof” the president was referring to in his tweet, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted members of the administration were present during the call and could confirm Trump’s version of events. The president called on Wilson to “make her statement again,” maintaining that she had fabricated her account.
“Didn’t say what that congresswoman said. Didn’t say it at all. She knows it. And she now is not saying it. I did not say what she said. And I’d like her to make the statement again because I did not say what she said,” Trump said.
Wilson responded to the president’s tweet, saying she stood by her words. The feud between Trump and the Congresswoman only additionally fuels controversy regarding Trump’s treatment of Gold Star families.