President Donald Trump pushed back early Wednesday morning against reports that he told the widow of a slain American solider that her husband “knew what he signed up for,” dismissing a Democratic lawmaker’s account of the phone call as “totally fabricated.”
“Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof),” Trump said on Twitter. “Sad!”
Trump was referring to Florida Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson, who said Tuesday that she was in a car with Myeshia Johnson, on her way to receive the body of Johnson’s husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, when the President called. Wilson, who said she heard part of the conversation between Johnson and Trump on speakerphone, told the local news outlet WPLG: “Yeah, he said that. To me, that is something that you can say in a conversation, but you shouldn’t say that to a grieving widow. … That’s so insensitive.”
Trump has suggested in other situations that he has proof to support his account of conversations, only to back down later. Wilson stood by her story in a Twitter post shortly after Trump’s denial.
Trump has been under fire this week for his handling of the death of four American soldiers in Niger, criticism that escalated when he falsely claimed that President Barack Obama didn’t call the families of slain soldiers when he was in office.
The President also took aim Wednesday morning at the FBI’s disclosure this week that former FBI Director James Comey had begun drafting a letter exonerating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server before agents had interviewed her.
Trump fired Comey earlier this year. At the time, he cited Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation during the 2016 election, but he later acknowledged he did it at least partly because of the investigation into whether any of his associates colluded with Russia to influence the election. His firing of Comey led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is now reportedly investigating whether Trump’s firing of Comey amounted to obstruction of justice.