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Gold Star Widow 'Upset and Hurt' by Trump's Phone Call

Myeshia Johnson wipes away tears during the burial service for her husband, Army Sgt. La David Johnson, at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on Oct. 21, 2017, in Hollywood, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Myeshia Johnson wipes away tears during the burial service for her husband, Army Sgt. La David Johnson, at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on Oct. 21, 2017, in Hollywood, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The young Gold Star widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson said Monday that she was "very upset and hurt" by the tone and content of President Donald Trump's condolence phone call to her last week.

Myeshia Johnson said on ABC's "Good Morning America" that Trump appeared not to know her 25-year-old husband's name, but the president later tweeted, "I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!"

However, 24-year-old Myeshia Johnson, who is six months pregnant, said Trump's phone call left her in tears.

"I heard him [Trump] stumbling on trying to remember my husband's name, and that's what hurt me the most because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risked his life for our country, why can't you remember his name?" Johnson said.

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"That's what made me upset and cry even more because my husband was an awesome soldier," she said.

Johnson's comments and Trump's Tweet renewed an increasingly bitter dispute over Trump's response to the deaths of Johnson and Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia.

The four members of the Army's 3rd Special Forces Group were killed in an Oct. 4 ambush in Niger. Johnson's body was not recovered until two days after the attack.

Last Monday at the White House -- 12 days after the Niger attacks -- Trump was asked about his calls to the families of service members who have been killed during his presidency. He said his responses compared favorably with other presidents, including former President Barack Obama.

The call to Myeshia Johnson came as she was in a car with two relatives and Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Florida Democrat.

Wilson later said that Trump told Myeshia Johnson words to the effect that her husband "knew what he was getting into but it still hurts." She also said that Trump appeared to have a problem recalling Sgt. Johnson's name.

Trump has since denied making the statement and charged that Wilson "fabricated" her account of the call.

In the "Good Morning America" interview, Myeshia Johnson said, "Whatever Ms. Wilson said was not fabricated. What she said was 100 percent correct."

When asked if she wished to say anything to Trump, Johnson said, "No. I don't have anything to say to him."

She said the casualty officers who initially came to her house told her that Sgt. Johnson was missing.

"They didn't know where he was or where to find him, and a couple days later is when they told me that he went from missing to killed in action," she said.

"I don't know how he got killed, where he got killed or anything," Johnson said. "I don't know that part. They never told me, and that's what I've been trying to find out since day one, since Oct. 4th."

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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