Trump Denies Widow’s Claim That He Couldn’t Remember Husband’s Name During Call

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump denied Monday that he forgot the name of Army Sgt. La David Johnson during a phone call with Johnson’s widow.

“The only way he remembered my husband’s name is because he told me he had my husband’s report in front of him and that’s when he actually said La David,” Myeshia Johnson said on “Good Morning America.”

“I heard him stumblin’ on trying to remember my husband’s name and that’s what hurt me the most, because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risked his life for our country why can’t you remember his name?”

Shortly after Johnson’s comments, Trump tweeted, “I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!”

Trump’s call to Johnson last week has dominated the headlines after Democratic Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson, who was listening in, said the president was disrespectful.

Rep. Wilson told MSNBC Trump said “he knew what he was getting into when he signed up.” Johnson was one of four American special operations soldiers to die in a recent ambush in Niger.

The White House hasn’t denied Trump made these comments to Johnson’s widow but White House chief of staff John Kelly, a retired Marine whose son died in Afghanistan, defended the president in a high profile press briefing appearance.

“I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning, and broken-hearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing.  A member of Congress who listened in on a phone call from the President of the United States to a young wife, and in his way tried to express that opinion — that he’s a brave man, a fallen hero, he knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted.  There’s no reason to enlist; he enlisted,” Kelly said. “And he was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be, with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken.”