Gold Star widow Myeshia Johnson has ‘nothing to say’ to Trump after controversial condolence call – Washington Post
Myeshia Johnson wipes away tears during the burial service for her husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery in Hollywood, Fla. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Nineteen days after her husband’s death and two days after his wrenching burial, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson said she has “nothing to say” to President Trump, whose condolence call pulled the grieving widow into the center of a national controversy.
“Very upset and hurt; it made me cry even worse,” Myeshia Johnson told “Good Morning America” about her conversation with the president.
Making her first public comments since she took the call from Trump last week — on the same day her husband’s remains were flown back to the United States — Johnson recalled that the president said her husband “knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyways. And it made me cry. I was very angry at the tone of his voice, and how he said it.”
She added: “I didn’t say anything. I just listened.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 23, 2017
Her husband was killed in action in West Africa on Oct. 4, one of four U.S. soldiers who died in Niger when Islamic State militants attacked them.
His body was flown back to the United States on Tuesday. Soon after, his name became entangled in a controversy after Trump was accused of making insensitive remarks to the 25-year-old soldier’s widow.
Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) said Trump told Myeshia Johnson on the phone that her husband “must have known what he signed up for,” an account later corroborated by Johnson’s aunt and custodial mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson.
Trump vehemently denied Wilson’s account, stating without evidence that he had proof it was “totally fabricated.” But White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly later appeared to confirm Wilson’s account. Myeshia Johnson said Monday that Wilson’s version of events was “100 percent correct.”
Photos from Saturday’s funeral and burial in Hollywood, Fla., showed relatives sobbing and members of Johnson’s battalion, the “Bush Hog” formation, breaking down in tears.
Just before he was buried, Myeshia Johnson kissed the casket.
But in her interview Monday with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, she said she’s not totally convinced her husband’s remains were inside.
“Why couldn’t I see my husband? Every time I asked to see my husband, they wouldn’t let me,” she said. “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.”
As questions continue to swirl around the circumstances of La David Johnson’s death, Myeshia Johnson said she has some of her own “that I need answered.”
Chief among them, she said: “I want to know why it took them 48 hours to find my husband. … When they came to my house, they just told me it was a massive gunfire and that my husband, as of Oct. 4, was missing. They didn’t know his whereabouts.”
Then, she said, “he went from missing to killed in action. … I don’t know how he got killed, where he got killed or anything.”
Johnson was a mechanic attached to a 3rd Special Forces Group team that was partnered with Nigerien forces. They unexpectedly came under attack during a morning operation that also killed Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29.
The deadly operation is now under U.S. military investigation.
To those who knew him, Johnson was a loving husband who had his wife’s name tattooed across his chest; a soldier who pushed to improve himself; a son who enjoyed talking about his family.
He was also a father who was looking forward to seeing his baby girl: Myeshia is six months pregnant. The couple also have a 2-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter.
“He was very excited. He said, ‘Sergeant B, I’m having a girl!’ ” Staff Sgt. Dennis Bohler, Johnson’s close friend, told The Post last week.
Myeshia Johnson kisses her husband’s casket during his burial service on Saturday. (Gaston de Cardenas/AFP/Getty Images)
Myeshia Johnson is presented with the U.S. flag that was draped over her husband’s casket. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald via AP)
Amy B Wang and Dan Lamothe contributed to this report.
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