President Trump resumed his feud with Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson over his condolence phone call to the widow of a recently killed U.S. soldier, urging the news media on Saturday to keep reporting on the “wacky” Florida congresswoman.
“I hope the Fake News Media keeps talking about Wacky Congresswoman Wilson in that she, as a representative, is killing the Democrat Party!” Trump tweeted.
The feud started after Wilson listened to a phone call Trump made Monday to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of fallen Army Sgt. La David Johnson, then claimed that the president said told Johnson that her deceased husband “knew what he signed up for.”
Johnson was one of four Americans killed in an Oct. 4 ambush in Niger.
After several Trump tweets and Wilson TV interviews earlier this week, White House Chief of Staff retired Gen. John Kelly on Thursday publically criticized Wilson’s involvement in the call, suggesting she’s trying to politicize the matter.
“I feel very sorry for him because he feels such a need to lie on me and I’m not even his enemy,” Wilson said Friday about Kelly’s remarks, in a New York Times interview. “I just can’t even imagine why he would fabricate something like that. That is absolutely insane. I’m just flabbergasted because it’s very easy to trace.”
Wilson didn’t label Kelly a racist in the interview but claimed that others in the White House are.
“They are making themselves look like fools,” she also said. “They have no credibility. They are trying to assassinate my character, and they are assassinating their own because everything they say is coming out and shown to be a lie.”
Kelly said he was “broken-hearted” by Wilson’s involvement in the call. During his remarks, Kelly also criticized Wilson by recalling her comments during the 2015 dedication of a FBI field office in Miramar, Fla.
He said Wilson “talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call, he gave the money, the $20 million, to build the building, and she sat down.”
“And we were stunned, stunned that she’d done it,” Kelly said of Wilson’s remarks during the event. “Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned.”
But video of that event, released on Friday, showed that Wilson did not talk about the building’s funding, but instead spoke of her own efforts getting legislation passed that named the building after the fallen agents.