The widow a US soldier killed in Niger has confirmed that Donald Trump told her in a phone call, ‘he knew what he signed up for’.
Sgt La David Johnson was one of four soldiers killed at the beginning of this month, and the US president has been accused of insensitivity to his wife, Myeshia.
In an interview with Good Morning America to speak about the controversy for the first time, she said her phone call with Mr Trump ‘made me cry even worse’.
She also said the president couldn’t remember her dead husband’s name.
Last week, Democratic representative Frederica Wilson, who was on the other end of the call with Mrs Johnson, said Mr Trump told her: ‘He knew what he signed up for’.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 23, 2017
Mr Trump later described this account of the conversation as ‘totally fabricated’, but his aunt, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, who raised Sgt Johnson from the age of five after his mother died, said Ms Wilson’s version was true.
The couple have two children aged two and six and Mrs Johnson is six months pregnant.
Speaking to Good Morning America, she said she was ‘very upset and hurt’ by Mr Trump’s phone call, adding: ‘It made me cry even worse.’
Mrs Johnson said Mr Trump said her husband ‘knew what he signed up for’.
She said: ‘And it made me cry. I was very angry at the tone of his voice, and how he said it.
‘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?
‘I didn’t say anything. I just listened.’
I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2017
In a tweet on Monday, Mr Trump disputed her claim that he had forgotten her husband’s name.
He posted: ‘I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!’
Sgt Johnson was killed in an attack in Niger by Islamic State militants on October 4. Five Nigerien soldiers were also killed.
Sgt Johnson was buried in Florida on Saturday but his wife said she was not allowed to see his body.
She told Good Morning America: ‘Why couldn’t I see my husband? Every time I asked to see my husband, they wouldn’t let me.
‘They won’t show me a finger, a hand. I know my husband’s body from head to toe. They won’t show me anything.
‘I don’t know what’s in that box. It could be empty for all I know.
‘I don’t know how he got killed, where he got killed or anything.’
Asked what she will tell his baby daughter, who is expected in January, Mrs Johnson said: ‘I want to tell her how awesome her dad was and how a great father he was and how he died as a hero.’
(Main picture: Rex)