Worse yet, Trump’s approach to dealing with the ISIS is on track to cause double the civilian casualties that occurred during the command under Obama. Estimates are that the American lead coalition killed over 2,200 civilians in ISIS-held territory in Iraq and Syria between Trump’s inauguration on January 20 and July 13. That represented more than 360 civilian deaths a month and at least 12 every day since Trump entered the White House. According to the coalition’s figures, its strikes have killed 603 civilians in total since the beginning of the airstrike campaign against ISIS in 2014. Forty percent of those are estimated to have come after Trump’s inauguration. Perhaps the reason for Trump’s failure to timely send condolences to the families of the fallen soldiers was because he didn’t want to bring focus on his failure to defeat ISIS.
Trump originally drew criticism for his failure to respond to the deaths of these soldiers for 12 days. Trump, the President who tweets about everything, waited for almost two weeks to even acknowledge the loss. It was a news conference in the in the Rose Garden where he was asked by a reporter to explain his uncharacteristic silence. So it appears he wasn’t even planning to respond, but was forced to acknowledge the deaths as a result of the reporters question. Initially ‘Trump tried to deflect the question by saying that he had already WRITTEN LETTERS to the families of the fallen soldiers. But he admitted they had not yet been mailed.
Rep. Frederica Wilson, the Florida congresswoman who was with Mrs. Johnson when she received the phone call from Trump. She told NBC Miami that she heard the president’s comment to Sgt. La David T. Johnson’s widow, Myeshia, on a speakerphone as they traveled together to meet his body on Tuesday. She heard Trump say that Sgt. Johnson:
“must’ve known what he signed up for.”
“Everyone knows when you go to war you could possibly not come back alive but you don’t remind a grieving widow of that,” Wilson said. “That’s so insensitive.”
Trump “didn’t even remember his name,” Wilson recalled Myeshia Johnson telling her after the call ended, the congresswoman told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Wednesday.
“She hung up the phone and said, ‘He didn’t even remember his name,'” Wilson said. “That’s the hurting part.”
In his usual way Trump tried to deflect the criticism with a Tweet:
“Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!”
Moments later, Wilson, talking to CNN’s “New Day,” said she also had evidence to support her account of the call.
“I’m not the only person that was in the car, and I have proof too, this man is a sick man,” she said. “I have no reason to lie on the president of the United States with a dead soldier in my community.”
The White House has not responded to ABC News’ request for clarification on Trump’s “proof.”
Johnson has received awards and decorations including the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Army Parachutist Badge, the Army Air Assault Badge, the Driver and Mechanic Badge, and the Marksmanship Qualification Badge — Sharpshooter with Rifle.
Former Obama administration officials, including former Attorney General Eric Holder, disputed Trump’s claim.
Trump then tried to single out General Kelly’s family as a gold star family who Obama never spoke to about the loss. But in fact at a breakfast for Gold Star families at the White House on May 30, 2011, Kelly and his wife attended the private event and were seated at first lady Michelle Obama’s table.
In fact Obama had a long history of reaching out to families of fallen soldiers. Before he decided to deploy 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, Mr. Obama traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to greet the coffins of troops. Obama was also known to take walks through Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery, where the dead from Iraq and Afghanistan were buried. He paid visits to the wounded at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
In August 2011, after a Chinook military helicopter was shot down over Afghanistan, killing 38 people, including 25 Special Operations forces, Mr. Obama consoled the families of all those killed.
For Trump to initially give no comment in response to the allegations of such an abominable remark, and then to suggest by tweet that he has proof that he didn’t say that, and then refuse to provide proof to the media is a scenario we have seen before. When Trump lies, and gets caught, he never apologizes, never acknowledges his error, never admits his mistake. For the President of the United States to make such a reprehensible remark to the wife of a fallen soldier is unforgivable. This was not about politics. Mrs. Johnson never said anything about Trump.
Sgt. Johnson paid the ultimate price in service to America.
Mrs. Johnson has paid the ultimate price for the election of Donald Trump as our President.