Even as a fallen U.S. soldier is laid to rest, Trump doesn't have the decency to stop lashing out at the young man's grieving family and long-time mentor.
Army Sgt. La David Johnson will be laid to rest today in Hollywood, Florida, more than two weeks after he was killed in an ISIS-led ambush in Niger. He was one of four Army Special Forces troops killed on Oct. 4, following what was described as a “massive intelligence failure.”
On a day when the commander in chief should be honoring an American service member who made the ultimate sacrifice, Donald Trump instead began the day by continuing his attacks on Johnson’s family and long-time mentor.
Trump’s attacks on Florida Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson, a close family friend for decades, started earlier this week, when Wilson described a Tuesday phone conversation between Trump and Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson, during which Trump said Johnson “knew what he signed up for.” Trump initially called Wilson “wacky” in a Thursday tweet in which he also claimed she was lying about what was said during the call and accused her of “secretly” listening in.
Wilson was in the car with the fallen soldier’s family when Trump called, and the family has since confirmed that her description of the call, which took place on speakerphone, was accurate. They’ve also made it clear that it was at their request that Wilson was with them. Johnson’s mother also spoke out, saying Trump had disrespected the family with his call.
In a series of tweets Saturday morning, Trump once again lashed out at Wilson. His vicious comments are just the latest in a now five day assault on Johnson’s loved ones.
In one tweet, Trump referred to Wilson as “wacky” and said she “is killing the Democrat party.”
I hope the Fake News Media keeps talking about Wacky Congresswoman Wilson in that she, as a representative, is killing the Democrat Party!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2017
A short time later, Trump quote-tweeted a photo of Wilson standing with President Obama, writing “People get what is going on!” — clearly meant to imply that Wilson couldn’t possibly be defending the family out of personal allegiance, and that her motives must be political.
Based on the replies to Trump’s tweets, people do know what’s going on — and they’re disgusted to see him using his role as commander in chief to politicize the death of a fallen soldier and launch a smear campaign against mourning loved ones.
Still, this didn’t stop Trump and other top White House officials from attacking and lying about Wilson, who has spent the week publicly demanding more information about Johnson’s death. She has also publicly pressed the administration for answers as to why his body was left behind for 48 hours after the raid in Niger.
Now, as Wilson accompanies the bereaved family to Johnson’s funeral, Trump is using the opportunity not to offer comfort or condolences, but to continue his disgraceful attacks on a close family friend and confidante.
While Trump has often brought shame to the office of the presidency, this latest assault on a Gold Star family may be among his most heinous acts yet.