Frederica Wilson 2015 video shows John Kelly got it wrong

President Donald Trump's chief of staff made scathing comments about Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson, accusing her grandstanding at a building dedication in the memory of two fallen Federal Bureau of Investigation agents. "Today, it is our patriotic duty to lift up Special Agent Benjamin Grogan and Special Agent Jerry Dove from the street in South Florida, and place their names and pictures high, where the world will know that we are proud of their sacrifice, their sacrifice for our nation", Representative Wilson said. He left the impression that the comments were a crass contrast to the memorializing of the slain officers.

"If you want to go after General Kelly that's up to you but I think that if you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that's something highly inappropriate", Sanders said.

"That's a racist term ― thinking about that, we looked it up in the dictionary because I had never heard of an empty barrel and I don't like to be dragged into something like that", Wilson said Friday.

Wilson called Kelly's description of her speech a "lie", noting that funding for the building had been secured before she ever took office and that she only helped to pass legislation naming the building after two slain Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.

"As far as other Presidents, I don't know, you could ask General Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?"

Kelly also defended Trump, who touched off the controversy on Monday by falsely claiming President Barack Obama had not called the families of fallen soldiers. She did not say whether that contact necessarily meant a phone call, or only a letter, and she did not not address the specifics of why families of some war dead have received neither.

In heartfelt remarks Thursday, Kelly, a former general whose Marine son was killed in Afghanistan, described himself as "broken-hearted" and "stunned" coming to work at the White House on Wednesday as he saw Wilson on news networks disclosing the private details of Trump's call to Myeshia Johnson. She said she overheard Mr Trump's words.


Please note: This is a commentary piece. "Because it's not the phone call that parents, family members are looking forward to". He first advised him against it, saying there is nothing anyone can say to ease what the family is going through, according to NBC News.

President Donald Trump may or may not have said something insensitive or excessively blunt to the widow of a soldier killed earlier this month in Niger.

This followed a White House written statement that stood by Kelly's remarks, which we now know weren't true.

Sanders said Wilson made the comments referenced by Kelly and it was "witnessed by many people that were there". La David Johnson, who died in a combat operation in Niger. But when asked if Trump had been in contact, she demurred, saying, "We will not speak ill of a president who adores his troops".

The White House chief of staff said he was so upset by her criticism of Trump's call that he went to walk "among the finest men and women on Earth" in a 90-minute visit to nearby Arlington National Cemetery, among the graves of service members, including some who died under his command. I didn't say that.

But several hours later, on Thursday night, the president returned to his criticism of Rep. Wilson, tweeting that the "wacky" congresswoman told a "total lie" about his telephone conversation with Johnson's widow.

  • Tracy Klein