White House Chief of Staff John Kelly appeared before a group of reporters to defend Trump’s insensitive statement to the widow of fallen soldier La David Johnson.
Myeshia Johnson accompanied by members of her family and Congresswoman Frederica Wilson were waiting to receive the body of her husband who had been killed in the line of duty in Niger Africa when she received a call from President Donald Trump.
In the course of the president’s condolences he allegedly said “He knew what he signed up for … but when it happens, it hurts anyway,”
This remark apparently upset Mrs. Johnson and she began to weep.
The phone’s speaker was on and the remarks were heard by everyone in the vehicle.
Congresswoman Wilson brought the matter to the attention of the press.
The question is, did the president call the grieving widow to console her or to antagonize her? I’ll be the first to say the president had good intentions.
However, Donald Trump has verbalized and demonstrated that he is extremely insensitive to people of color. He has demonized Black Lives Matter and advocates them being categorized as a Terrorist organization. He has referred to a young football player as a son-of-a-bitch. He has encouraged violence against people of color at his political rallies. He has categorized black communities as extremely dangerous places to live. Congresswoman Wilson had good reason to become concerned.
Additionally, Trump habitually never admits to being wrong and refuses to apologize for his transgressions. He has doubled down on his denial and has called Congresswoman Wilson an outright liar. Trump tweeted: “Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof),” “Sad!” “I didn’t say what that congresswoman said. Didn’t say it at all,” Trump told reporters during a meeting on tax reform in the Cabinet Room. “She knows it. And she now is not saying it. I did not say what she said.” Asked if there was a recording of the call, Press Secretary Sanders said: “No.” As usual Trump is lying and bluffing about proof. Note: Frederica Wilson is not backing down on what she heard the president say.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly says that he coached Donald Trump on what to say to the widow and told him to express to her that her husband had acted honorably in making the decision to accept a dangerous position as a soldier. Mr. Kelly clarified the context of that statement as well. He continued, “He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining that one percent. He knew what the possibilities were because we were at war and when he died he was surrounded by the best men on this Earth, his friends,” Mr. Kelly said this is what he advised the President to say.
Mistake! Trump’s mouth goes astray when he is not reading a prepared speech from a teleprompter.
The single phrase “He knew what he was getting into” was just the tip of the iceberg. The president could have at least called the name of Sgt. Johnson, he never called the widow’s name nor that of Sgt. La David Johnson. His reference was “Your Guy”.
Given Trump’s stated and implied attitude towards people of color, Congresswoman Fredrica Wilson’s actions were justified in calling attention to the insensitive statement and Chief of Staff Kelly didn’t think her reasoning through before becoming “appalled” at her actions.
While I recognize the unintended error of the president, I do not ignore the added comments by John Kelly. He went well out of his way to demonize Congresswoman Wilson. Surely his comments were motivated by the president who didn’t have the decency to recognize his error and apologize to the distraught widow. Kelly’s words were meant to demean, deflect blame and refocus this horrible insult. What should appall John Kelly is his own weakness that allowed him unfairly attack Congresswoman Wilson in an effort to defend the indefensible.
Referencing the dedication of the FBI building in Miramar Florida in 1952 Kelly said, “A congresswoman stood up, and in a long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there in all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call, he gave the money” the $20 million to build the building, and she sat down, and we were stunned” Kelly said during his press conference on Thursday, stunned! “None of us went to the press and criticized, none of us stood up appalled, we just said okay fine”!
That, coming from a four-Star Marine General was a deliberate, bold faced lie”.
The most egregious part of Kelly’s diatribe was his reference to Congresswoman Wilson as an “Empty Barrel”.
Little does he know, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson is one of the most dynamic, dedicated, committed, and productive women in all of Florida. She rose from School Teacher to Principal, to member of the Florida Legislature, to U S Congresswoman with a long list of accomplishments behind her. Most notable is her 5000 Role Models of Excellence program. “Empty Wagon”, I don’t think so.
While Kelly was developing the false narrative on her bragging about securing $20 million for construction of the FBI building why didn’t the narrative include her many accomplishments? He didn’t do any research, he and Donald Trump cooked up that demeaning lie to besmirch the congresswoman knowing his audience would believe it.
“I was not in Congress in 2009 when the money for the building was secured, Frederica said, so that’s a lie”. How dare he? “However, I named the building at the behest of (then-FBI Director James Comey) with the help of (then-House Speaker John Boehner), working across party lines. So he didn’t tell the truth”.
Every word, every inference of that statement by John Kelly was a lie.
Apparently Kelly prepared the condolence statement for Trump and Trump prepared the “Empty Barrel” statement for Kelly.
This entire incident should give every American pause. This is what has happened to America under Donald Trump.
This is the type of propaganda used by foreign agents to discredit Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential elections.
This narrative generated to discredit Congresswoman Wilson was not done by someone who attended the dedication ceremony.
Kelly said he attended the ceremony in Miami Florida. The ceremony was held in Miramar Florida 25 miles northwest of Miami.
If this narrative is Kelly’s doing, which I doubt it is, he should be stripped of his military rank and severely disciplined.
Lies, Lies, Lies from every aspect of Trump’s cabinet. Lies to discredit Barack Obama. Lies to silence opposition to Trump and his disastrous policies.
Is there no length the Trump administration will not go to defend this vulgar, immoral, lying, racist, admitted sexual predator?
Shame on Donald J. Trump and shame on General John Kelly.
General Kelly can redeem himself my issuing an apology to Congresswoman Wilson. He claims to have been present during the building dedication and knows full well he or a surrogate lied on the congresswoman to placate Donald Trump.
In December of 2016, three leading professors of psychiatry wrote to Barack Obama expressing their grave concerns over Trump’s mental stability:
“His widely reported symptoms of mental instability – including grandiosity, impulsivity, hypersensitivity to slights or criticism, and an apparent inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality – lead us to question his fitness for the immense responsibilities of the office,” the professors from Harvard Medical School and the University of California wrote to the then President, urging him to order a “full medical and neuropsychiatric evaluation” of the then President-elect.
This infectious disease has found its way throughout the Trump administration. Some through his personal selection and others just fell in line out of fear.
This is not the America our founding fathers designed and it certainly is not the America as represented by the Statue of Liberty standing in the New York Harbor.
Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see several Congressmen and Senators get together the next time a similar incident arises and declare, Get that “Son-of-a-Bitch” out of the White House. Get him out Now! He’s Fired! Fired!
The Sun Sentinel recorded the dedication ceremony of the FBI building in 2015 and the recording bear no resemblance to Kelly’s description of the event.
Please take the time to view this recording by following the link below.
After viewing the Sun Sentinel video, please view the video of John Kelly by following the link below.