Trump's toxic attacks on a congresswoman simply trying to protect a grieving family are having terrifying consequences.
After Donald Trump labeled a Florida congresswoman a liar, his spokeswoman condemned her as “disgusting,” and Fox News talkers called her “sick,” “vicious,” and “crazy,” Rep. Frederica Wilson has received death threats, according to her office.
The Capitol Police, the Miami Gardens Police in Florida, and the Threat Division of the U.S. House of Representatives have all been notified about the threats.
Virtually overnight, Wilson became a prime target of the White House, the right-wing media, and their most dangerous supporters when she relayed how insensitive and disrespectful Trump had been while calling Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson who was one of four Americans soldiers killed in an ISIS raid in Niger on Oct. 4.
Already nearly two weeks late in reaching out to the families, Trump contacted the widow while she rode to the Miami airport to meet her husband’s remains. On the five-minute phone call, which Wilson overheard via speakerphone, Trump said the Green Beret “knew what he had signed up for” when he joined the military, but that it still “must hurt” that he was killed. Johnson claimed Trump didn’t even know her husband’s name.
As the story exploded, the White House and its most ardent supporters quickly launched into attack mode, with Trump claiming Wilson had fabricated the contents of the phone call, even though other family members in the car have since confirmed it.
“President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband,” Cowanda Jones-Johnson told the Washington Post.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders lashed out at Wilson: “I think it is appalling what the congresswoman has done and the way that she has politicized this issue.” She added, “And I think to try to create something from that that the congresswoman is doing is frankly appalling and disgusting.”
And then the right-wing media piled on, baselessly suggesting Wilson had lied about the phone call:
I don't know what was said, and neither does any other member of the press. But this whole thing has the look of a setup, does it not?
— Bill O'Reilly (@BillOReilly) October 18, 2017
Meanwhile, Fox News’ Tomi Lahren condemned Wilson, calling her “crazy.” Sean Hannity on Wednesday night dismissed her “vicious” and “sick.”
It’s sad and unfortunate, but no, it’s not entirely surprising that Wilson is receiving death threats after the Trump White House and Fox News spearheaded a dangerous and misleading smear campaign against her.