Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Mother of slain US soldier accuses Donald Trump of 'disrespect' during call to grieving widow

The mother of a US soldier killed in Niger said President Donald Trump showed "disrespect" to her son's loved ones as they went to meet his body at an airport.

It comes after Mr Trump denied telling Sergeant La David Johnson's widow he "must have known what he'd signed up for" during a call offering her condolences.

Sgt Johnson, 25, was one of four US special service troops killed in Niger by Islamist militants earlier this month.

He and his wife have two children with a third on the way.

Sergeant La David Johnson was killed in Niger this month. Credit: Department of Defense.

Myeshia Johnson had been en route to meet her husband's body at Miami Airport when Mr Trump called.

Florida Democrat Representative Frederica Wilson was with Mrs Johnson at the time, and criticised the president after overhearing the call.

Mr Trump later tweeted that the claim was "totally fabricated".

And in a White House meeting on tax reform, Mr Trump told reporters that he "didn't say what that congresswoman said, didn't say it at all. She knows it".

"I had a very nice conversation with the woman, the wife, who sounded like a lovely woman."

Myeshia Johnson was 'astonished' by Mr Trump's alleged comments. Credit: APTN

But Sgt Johnson's mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, told The Associated Press that the congresswoman's account was correct.

"Yes the statement is true," Jones-Johnson said.

"I was in the car and I heard the full conversation.

Rep Wilson also took to Twitter to reaffirm her statement.

Earlier Rep Wilson told NBC that Mrs Johnson was left "astonished" after the exchange - which lasted a handful of minutes.

The White House said that Mr Trump had contacted the families of the four servicemen to express his condolences.

Rep Wilson said that he told Mrs Johnson her husband "must've known what he signed up for".

"Everyone knows when you go to war you could possibly not come back alive but you don't remind a grieving widow of that. That's so insensitive," she said.

"I wanted to curse him out. I asked the family to give me the phone so that I could, but they wouldn’t.

"It was almost like saying, 'You signed up to do this, and if you didn’t want to die, shouldn’t have signed up.'"

Donald Trump has denied Frederica Wilson's statement. Credit: PA

A White House spokeswoman said on Tuesday that Mr Trump had "offered condolences on behalf of a grateful nation and assured them their families' extraordinary sacrifice to the country will never be forgotten."

The president himself said he'd also written letters to the families.