- The Washington Times - Monday, October 23, 2017

The widow of fallen service member Sgt. La David T. Johnson said a Facebook post about her phone call with President Trump is fake, the Miami Herald reported.

The post defends Mr. Trump and criticizes Rep. Frederica Wilson saying she only heard part of the conversation with the president.

“I want to set the record straight! I’m getting sick and tired of this so called politician using my husband as a political platform,” reads the post in part. The timestamp of the post is also reportedly about an hour prior to Mr. Trump’s phone call to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Mr. Johnson.

Ms. Johnson told ABC News that the post was fake, according to a tweet from a “Good Morning America” producer.

The controversy surrounding her husband’s death began when Mrs. Wilson, Florida Democrat, said that Mr. Trump told Mrs. Johnson that her husband “knew what he signed up for” during a phone conversation days after her husband’s death. Mrs. Wilson is a friend of the family and heard part of the phone conversations between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Johnson. Sgt. Johnson was killed in an ambush attack in Niger on Oct. 4 along with three other American soldiers. He was buried on Saturday in Florida.

There has been significant pushback from the White House on Mrs. Wilson’s comments. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired general, addressed reporters on Thursday and called out Mrs. Wilson for politicizing the tragedy. Mr. Kelly lost his son, 1st Lt. Robert Kelly, in combat in Afghanistan in 2010 and described the feeling of learning about the death of a loved one.

But Mr. Kelly’s speech has now also been criticized for the claim that Mrs. Wilson grandstanded during the commemoration of a building named in honor of fallen FBI officers. He also referred to her as an “empty barrel,” which Mrs. Wilson said was a “racist” term.

The president continued to fuel the controversy tweeting on Sunday about Mrs. Wilson being good for Republican re-election chances.

“Wacky Congresswoman Wilson is the gift that keeps on giving for the Republican Party, a disaster for Dems. You watch her in action & vote R!” Mr. Trump tweeted.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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