- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The White House on Wednesday defended President Trump’s conduct in calling the widow of a Green Beret killed in Niger, describing his remarks as “respectful and sympathetic.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was a “disgrace” that a Democratic congresswoman and the news media had politicized a condolence call to the widow of a U.S. service member.

“It is appalling what the congresswoman has done in politicizing this issue,” she said.

Rep. Frederica Wilson, Florida Democrat, said she was riding in a car with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, a Green Beret killed in Niger, when she heard Mr. Trump say on speakerphone that the soldier “knew what he signed up for.”

The fallen soldier’s mother later told The Washington Post that Mr. Trump “disrespected” her son and their entire family in the call, including referring to him as “your guy,” which she said inferred he did not know her son’s name.

Mrs. Sanders said that if Mr. Trump used the term “your guy,” it was not because he did not know Johnson’s name.

Everybody in the room with Mr. Trump when he made the call, including Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired general, would vouch for his conduct, she said.

“The president’s call, as accounted by multiple people in the room, believe the president was respectful and very sympathetic in expressing condolence from himself and the rest of the country,” Mrs. Sanders said.

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