WATCH: Trump Claims He Never Said Controversial Comments to Fallen Soldier’s Wife

Twitter Donald Trump distanced himself from Paul Manafort, claiming that his indictment was related to instances that happened before Manafort joined his team.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday fired back at claims he told the widow of a fallen U.S. soldier “he knew what he signed up for” when offering his condolences.

One day earlier, Trump had a phone conversation with a distraught Myeshia Johnson lasting about five minutes. Johnson is the wife of Sgt. La David Johnson, a 25-year old who was killed while on a non-combat mission in an ambush attack in Niger on October 4.

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Miami Gardens), who was present with the widow during the conversation, told Local 10 News that Trump said Myeshia’s husband “knew what he signed up for … but when it happens, it hurts anyway.” Johnson’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson backed up Wilson’s claims of the comments by Trump.

“President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband,” she told the Washington Post.

Trump has since denied saying the remarks, tweeting Wednesday morning that he “had proof” he never said the remarks.

Trump spoke to media members later in the day Wednesday and doubled down on his claim.

“I did not say what she said,” Trump said. “I’d like her to make the statement again because I did not say what she said. I had a very nice conversation with the woman, with the wife, who sounded like a lovely woman. Did not say what the congresswoman said, and most people aren’t too surprised to hear that.”

Watch a video of Trump’s response to the remarks below:


Wilson told MSNBC on Wednesday that Myeshia, who’s expecting her third child in January, was shaken by the conversation and was crying the entire time.

“When she hung up the phone, she looked at me and said, ‘He didn’t even remember his name,'” Wilson told the news network. “That’s the hurting part.”

New York Daily News columnist Brandon Friedman wrote in a column about the alleged remarks that there’s often “a misconception among non-veterans that service members sign up with the expectation that they may die.”

Friedman, a former Obama administration official who did two tours of duty as an infantry officer, said that he “never met a soldier who thought dying was a reasonable result of his or her service.”

Sgt. Johnson’s body returned home to American soil Tuesday. It was greeted by Myeshia and their two children on the tarmac at Miami International Airport in an emotional scene. She burst into tears as she leaned over the American flag that draped her husband’s casket, realizing the man she married just a few years ago and was gone.


Heartbreaking scene as the remains of U S Army Sgt La David Johnson, killed in action in Niger, arHeartbreaking scene as the remains of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson, killed in action in Niger, are returned to Miami2017-10-17T23:05:50.000Z

The tarmac was filled with local dignitaries, law enforcement personnel and firefighters. Most of all, it was filled with silence to remember the storied life of Johnson, who served as a member of the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

Many joined hands and saluted Johnson as a procession traveled on the Miami streets from the airport to a funeral home in Broward County. His body will remain at Fred Hunters Funeral Home in Hollywood for a public viewing Friday with a funeral service scheduled for Saturday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at The Christ Rock Church in Cooper City.

Johnson was one of four military members shot dead in Niger while working on an advise-and-assist mission the volatile area of Tongo Tongo, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. Johnson and the three other U.S. service members — Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright — were killed in the attack along with four Nigerien soldiers, local media reported.

The group was performing a mission that was deemed low risk and was meant to continue relations with local leaders. There was no air cover at the time of incident, and it wasn’t supposed to involve any engagement with the enemy, Army Col. Mark R. Cheadle told reporters at the Pentagon.

“It was meant to establish relations with the local leaders and the threat at the time was deemed to be unlikely,” Cheadle said. “So, there was no overhead armed air cover during the engagement.”

A U.S. official who spoke to CNN said that Johnson was on his way out of a meeting in an unarmed vehicle when his team was ambushed with gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades from enemies believed to be affiliated with ISIS. It’s thought that the soldiers were attacked by up to 50 fighters at the Niger-Mali border and left to try and fight back on their own.

As the attack took place, the men exited the vehicles and ran for cover, killing some of the enemy fighters in the process. Somehow, though, Johnson became separated from the rest of the group during the intense firefight and went missing.

The military launched a search-and-rescue mission to recover Johnson — who was initially thought to be alive — and special operations troops were flown in to attempt a rescue.

Eventually, Johnson’s body was recovered by Nigerien troops near where the attack took place. Further details on what transpired during — and after — haven’t been disclosed. The Department of Defense has since announced it’s launched a full investigation into the attack, CNN reported.



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