According to U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Florida), Donald Trump told U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson's widow Tuesday that "he knew what he signed up for ... but when it happens, it hurts anyway," when he died serving in northwestern Africa.
"Yeah, he said that," Wilson said. "So insensitive. He should not have said that. He shouldn't have said it."
Johnson had participated in the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence mentorship program Wilson founded in 1993. He died during a mission fighting alongside Green Berets. They were ambushed Niger on Oct. 4 with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.
Wilson criticized Trump for failing to acknowledge Johnson's death after he was left behind during the evacuation. It took nearly two days to find his body in the Republic of Niger's desert. Johnson's body made it to the U.S. on Oct. 7 when Trump was playing golf with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
In true Trump fashion, he chose to focus on questions concerning whether or not he had offered his condolences to the families of the fallen.
"I will, at some point, during the period of time, call the parents and the families, because I have done that, traditionally," Trump said during a news conference last week.
After Wilson publicly criticized the president's lack of empathy, Trump is now claiming that this is fake news.
Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017
Despite Trump's utter insensitivity, some people are paying Johnson the homage he deserves. The 5,000 Role Models of Excellence program has established Role Model Army Sgt. La David Johnson Scholarship to ensure Johnson’s three children will have money for college. A GoFundMe has been set up for all those looking to donate.
According to officials with the Department of Defense, the other three victims of the attack were Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia.
We do not know what Trump said to their families, but we do offer our condolences to the Johnson family and all our fallen soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.