Trump's insulting phone call to a grieving Army widow has other Gold Star families outraged.
When Christina Ayube’s son, Sgt. James Ayube, was killed by an insurgent using an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in December 2010, she was consoled by her president.
“President Obama was there when the remains returned to Dover and he saluted his casket,” she told the Sentinel. “I got a letter and a personal note from him later.”
Ayube is appalled at the way Donald Trump has treated other grieving military families, particularly the insulting phone call he made to Myeshia Johnson, the young widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson.
“I probably would have hung up on him,” Ayube said.
Trump told the Johnson family that the young man knew what he was getting into when he “signed up” with the service. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), who was with the family at the time, criticized Trump for his callousness and was attacked by Trump, who accused her of fabricating the details of the conversation. A day later, his chief of staff, John Kelly, confirmed Wilson’s account, even while attacking her.
“I somewhat hoped when this president took office he would realize the gravity of his job and wouldn’t act so juvenile,” Ayube said. “It’s either he has no empathy or he just thinks he’s above us all and we’re here for his pleasure.”
Four Americans died while serving in Niger in a surprise attack from what is believed to be ISIS elements. For nearly two weeks, Trump ignored their deaths. Since being forced by the media to address the deadly attack, he has lashed out, lied, deflected, and turned this tragedy into a disgraceful spectacle.
As Karen Meredith, another Gold Star mother, said this week, Trump has once again managed to make the story all about him.
“Mr. Trump, stop. Please, just stop,” she said. “For once in your life, please stop making everything about you. For once in your life, at least pretend to know what empathy is. For once in your life, at least try to care about other people and their feelings.”
As Trump and his White House engage in a full-blown assault on the Florida congresswoman, in an attempt to deflect from his own mishandling of the last two weeks, it is clear that Trump will not heed any such advice.
Meanwhile, serious questions are being raised about the process Trump used to authorize and execute the Niger mission. Members of Congress believe they are being stonewalled and are demanding to know details, while Americans are disgusted by Trump’s callous attitude toward deceased soldiers.