One of President Trump’s highest priorities on the campaign trail was taking care of veterans. In office, Trump has remained committed to the military, honoring fallen servicemen by contacting Gold Star families.
According to Newsmax, Chief of Staff John Kelly–a retired Marine Corps General and Gold Star father who lost a son in Afghanistan–defended President Trump against accusations that he spoke offensively in a call to the widow of a Green Beret who was killed in Niger. Kelly called the President’s words “completely appropriate” and “respectful.”
Trump has been criticized for making remarks that were allegedly dismissive of the sacrifice made by fallen Army Sgt. La David Johnson, 25, of Miami Gardens, Florida. As The Guardian notes, Johnson and the three other US Special Forces soldiers who were killed, were embedded within a unit of Nigerien troops as part of operations against terror groups in that country.
President Trump was criticized for what his detractors called a “delayed” response to the deaths. As reported by The Daily Caller, Trump responded to the criticism by saying other Presidents, including Obama, did not always call the families of service members killed in combat.
The remarks were soon followed by accusations from Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), who was in a limousine with Johnson’s widow on the way to pick up the fallen Sgt.’s body when President Trump called.
According to Wilson, Trump said, “He knew what he signed up for … but when it happens it hurts anyway.” As Breitbart notes, the Florida Congresswoman later admitted: “I didn’t hear the whole phone call.”
Nevertheless, Wilson maintains her assertions in the face of the President’s disputations and says that Trump “is a sick man. He’s cold-hearted and he feels no pity or sympathy for anyone.” Wilson claims Mrs. John told her the President “‘didn’t even know his name.’ Now, that’s the worst part.”
Newsmax reported that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders rebuked the media on Wednesday for its coverage of the situation, calling it “a disgrace of the media to try to portray an act of kindness like that and that gesture and to try to make it into something that it isn’t.” Sanders said Trump “thanked the family for their service, commended them for having an American hero in their family — and I don’t know how you could take that any other way.”
The Press Secretary also said Trump’s conversation with Mrs. Johnson was “accounted by multiple people in the room.” Among them was Chief of Staff Kelly, whose son, Robert, was killed by a landmine while leading a platoon of Marines in Sangin, Afghanistan. Sanders said Kelly thought Trump’s comments to the Gold Star wife were “respectful” and “completely appropriate.”
Retired General Kelly defended Trump’s statements to a Green Beret widow. Do you think what he said was appropriate?
According to CNN, one Gold Star father said Trump’s words have been “misconstrued,” and that “he is very, very empathetic and very compassionate, not only toward Gold Star families but also in regards to our active duty.”
As ABC News reports, Trump sent another Gold Star father a check for $25,000. The President said he makes the effort to both send letters of condolence and make calls to the families of servicemen killed in combat.
Rep. Wilson’s claims seem wholly out of character for the President considering his documented actions, thus casting doubt on her accusation.