Why people are upset by Trump telling a soldier’s widow that her husband “knew what he signed up for”

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) was in the car with the grieving widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson when President Donald Trump called to offer his condolences. Except, according to Wilson, Trump allegedly told Myeshia Johnson that her husband “knew what he signed up for…but when it happens it hurts anyway,” The Hill reported. The remark has been considered insensitive and inappropriate by many, including the sergeant’s family, and it has led to a political battle that’s, unfortunately, losing sight of the fallen soldier.

As CNN reported, Wilson first told the media on October 17th about Trump’s comments. The Hill noted that Wilson was traveling in the car with Myeshia, who is pregnant with her and Johnson’s third child, on the way to the Miami airport where Sgt. Johnson’s body was arriving on Tuesday. Wilson claimed on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon that the president’s call to Myeshia was on speakerphone, so everyone in the limo could hear Trump say something to the effect of, “Well, I guess he knew what he signed up for” — which isn’t very empathetic — or presidential — to say to a wife who just lost her husband, a man who gave his life serving his country.


Wilson continued by saying that:

"She has just lost her husband, she was just told that he cannot have an open casket funeral which gives her all kinds of nightmares how his body must look, how his face must look, and this is what the president of the United States says to her?"

Time reported that the Defense Department will be looking into the October 4th ambush in Niger that killed Sgt. Johnson and three other soldiers.

But the main news now is that Trump is refuting Wilson’s claims, and things turned ugly when Trump took to Twitter to say that Wilson “totally fabricated” her story.


Wilson responded on Twitter, standing by her account of the phone call.

Cowanda Jones-Johnson, Sgt. Johnson’s mother, told The New York Times via Facebook that, “Yes, he did state that comment,” corroborating Wilson’s account. She also told The Washington Post, “President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband.”


Wilson added to CNN’s New Day that Trump didn’t even know Sgt. Johnson’s name.

What Trump did or didn’t say is being disputed on the internet and in the media, but if Wilson and Jones-Johnson’s statements are true, this is just another example of the unpresidential behavior that Trump has brought to the White House. And hopefully, Sgt. Johnson’s wife can find peace despite the insensitive remarks from our commander-in-chief.

If you’d like to donate to the Johnson family, a GoFundMe page has been created to provide money for his children’s college educations.

Rest in peace, Sgt. La David Johnson.

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