Sgt. La David Johnson was one of the four US soldiers killed by enemy fire in a deadly October 4th attack in Niger. The 3rd Special Forces Group Green Beret was returned to his family in the Miami area late Tuesday afternoon, receiving a water cannon salute as the plane approached the gate.
Johnson's family received a phone call from President Donald J. Trump and their Congressional Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Florida) was present in the vehicle with Johnson's widow Myeshia. Wilson said that at least part of the president's call was on speakerphone. She told CNN's Don Lemon that "Basically he said, 'Well, I guess he knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt.' "
President Trump responded this morning on Twitter, saying the Rep. Wilson "totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action."
There's been no comment from Sgt. Johnson's family, but Rep. Wilson has been making the rounds of the news shows this morning. She questions his "proof," responding that she wasn't the only person who heard the call.
But that's not the point here.
Here's what is important: Myeshia Johnson has two children with La David (a daughter, 6, and a son, 2) and she's pregnant with their third child, a daughter who's due in January. The couple met when they were six-years-old. She lives in Fort Bragg, NC and reportedly works as a cashier at Walmart.
What is a leader's responsibility in this situation? Should the president call to express condolences to the family of every service member killed in combat? If the reports about President Trump's comment is true, did he offer a cleared-eyed reminder of the sacrifices our military men and women make? Or was it an insensitive thing to say to a young widow who's most definitely struggling to process her husband's death?