Women inside the Congressional Black Caucus called on White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly to apologize Sunday for challenging “the integrity” of Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson.
Congresswomen like Maxine Waters, Shelia Jackson and Barbara Lee described Kelly’s statements that Wilson tried to take credit for her actions at a 2015 funeral for slain FBI agents as “reprehensible,” demanding that the chief of staff apologize for his “reckless statement.”
“General Kelly’s comments are reprehensible. Congresswoman Wilson’s integrity and credibility should not be challenged or undermined by such blatant lies. We, the women of the Congressional Black Caucus, proudly stand with Congresswoman Wilson and demand that General Kelly apologize to her without delay and take responsibility for his reckless and false statements,” the women of the CBC wrote in a letter.
Wilson and the White House have been embroiled in a battle for the past week over a phone call the president made with a Gold Star widow. Kelly said Wilson took credit for getting the funding for a FBI building while she was speaking at a funeral for two dead FBI agents.
“The congresswoman stood up, and in the 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,” Kelly said.
Video released by the Sun Sentinel reveals that, while Wilson did not take credit for getting money for the building, she did credit herself for ushering in legislation to get the building named after the two agents.
Women of the CBC defended Wilson’s character, referring to her work in Congress and her dedication to public service.
“Congresswoman Wilson is a woman of impeccable integrity and a dedicated public servant. She is a highly respected Member of Congress who has demonstrated extremely competent leadership on a number of important issues, and we are especially proud of her fearless and uncompromising leadership to fight for the release of nearly 300 Nigerian school girls who were kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram,” the women wrote.
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