US Rep. Calls Trump a 'Liar,' Niger Attack His 'Benghazi' - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

US Rep. Calls Trump a 'Liar,' Niger Attack His 'Benghazi'

"I stand firmly by my original account of his conversation," Wilson said in a statement

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    NEWSLETTERS

    President Donald Trump's phone call with the widow of a U.S. soldier has garnered criticism. The controversy has turned into a he-said, she-said scenario. NBC 6's Michael Spears reports. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017)

    Calling Donald Trump a "liar," U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson on Wednesday fiercely defended her statements over his call with a fallen U.S. soldier's widow. She is also demanding answers on the Niger attack in which her constituent and three other soldiers died, saying it will be "Mr. Trump's Benghazi."

    Wilson gave several interviews in which she discussed Trump's call and also detailed the exemplary service of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson, a Miami Gardens native.

    Trump has been under heavy criticism after Wilson recounted her version of the conversation on Tuesday.

    "I heard him say 'Well, you know ... I'm sure he knows that this is what he signed up for, but it still hurts,'" Wilson told "The View." "And the saddest part of this, he kept referring to La David as 'your guy.' He never called his name. It was almost as if he forgot his name, and that's what hurt the mother so badly, the wife, she said 'he doesn't even know his name.'"

    Wilson said Trump had to be aware that there were multiple people who could have heard the conversation between him and Myeshia Johnson, the pregnant widow.

    Wilson, Wilson's driver, the limousine driver, Johnson's aunt and uncle, Myeshia, and a U.S. Army official were all present in the car at the time of the call, Wilson recounted.

    When Trump called, Myeshia had recently found out that her husband would not receive an open-casket funeral because of the condition of his body.

    Wilson said Myeshia was "grief-stricken."

    After hearing Trump's comment, Wilson said she demanded to speak to him.

    "And they said 'No ... You can't speak with him. Why did you want to speak with him?' I said 'because I wanted to curse him out,'" Wilson added.

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    Wilson unapologetically responded when the ladies of "The View" mentioned Trump has denied making the comments.

    Earlier on Tuesday, Trump took to Twitter to state: "Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!"

    Trump did not elaborate on what proof he could provide.

    "President Trump is a liar. If he was taping the conversation, bring it on!" Wilson said.

    A White House spokeswoman said later there was no recording of the call.

    Johnson’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, told The Washington Post that she did hear the conversation and that Trump "did disrespect my son," also corroborating Wilson's account of the conversation.

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    In demanding answers about the attack that killed Johnson and three other U.S. special forces soldiers, Wilson said she wants to know why it took two days to discover his body, why he was not protected in an armored truck while traveling and why he had weapons weaker than those of the militants that carried out the deadly Oct. 4 ambush.

    "This is going to be Mr. Trump's Benghazi because I cannot get the answers. Nobody can get the answers, and until we get those answers ... It is his Benghazi and this whole thing about what he said to the widow is a cover-up," Wilson said.

    A GoFundMe page was created Monday in Myeshia's name to benefit her and the sergeant's kids' college funds. As of Wednesday night, it had raised more than $515,000.

    On an earlier appearance on MSNBC, Wilson said Myeshia was "crying the whole time, and when she hung up the phone, she looked at me and said, 'He didn't even remember his name.'"

    "He was almost like joking. He said ... something to the fact that 'he knew what he was getting into when he signed up but I guess it hurts anyway," Wilson said. "You know – just matter of factly, that this is what happens, anyone who is signing up for military duty is signing up to die and that's the way we interpreted it. It was horrible. It was insensitive. It was absolutely crazy and unnecessary. I was livid."

    When asked if she was complicit in politicizing the conversation about the deaths of soldiers, Wilson said she was just answering a question asked by the local press.

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    "Someone asked me a question. 'Did you hear the call? Tell us what you heard.' I told them what I heard. That's not politicizing anything. That was my constituent," Wilson said.

    Wilson also further cemented her position on Wednesday by releasing an official statement.

    “Despite President Trump’s suggestion that I have recanted my statement or misstated what he said, I stand firmly by my original account of his conversation with Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson," Wilson wrote. "Moreover, this account has been confirmed by family members who also witnessed Mr. Trump’s incredible lack of compassion and sensitivity."

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders strongly criticized Wilson's statements.

    "The hardest job he has is making calls like that. I think it is appalling what the congresswoman has done in the way she's politicized this issue and the way she is trying to make this about something that it isn't," Sanders said Wednesday.