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Mother of US soldier killed in Niger accuses Trump of 'disrespecting' her son

Hours earlier, Trump denied the claims that were made, saying that he had proof.

Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

THE GRIEVING MOTHER of a US soldier slain in an ambush in Niger reportedly said that President Donald Trump had disrespected her son during a call he made to offer his condolences.

“President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband,” Sergeant La David Johnson’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, told the Washington Post.

She said she agreed with an earlier account of the conversation given by a lawmaker who heard part of the call and accused Trump of insensitivity after he told Johnson’s pregnant widow that the young soldier “knew what he was signing up for”.

Frederica Wilson, a Democratic congresswoman from Florida, said she listened in to part of a group phone call between the president and the grieving family.

Trump The Fallen Congresswoman Republican Frederica Wilson talks to the media. Source: Alan Diaz via PA Images

“I didn’t hear the whole phone call, but I did hear him say, ‘I’m sure he knew what he was signing up for, but it still hurts,’” she told CNN.

Trump denied making the comments, tweeting today: “Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!”

Tweet by @Donald J. Trump Source: Donald J. Trump/Twitter

He later told reporters: “I did not say what she said,” and that “I had a very nice conversation.”

When asked about what “proof” he could offer, Trump said: “Let her make her statement again then you will find out.”

Johnson was among four US soldiers killed on 4 October in Niger, where Islamic State fighters have established a presence.

The Miami native’s body was returned home yesterday afternoon. He is survived by his wife Myeshia Johnson, who is expecting the couple’s third child.

Trump The Fallen Sergeant La David Johnson. Source: PA Images

After the phone call, Myeshia “was crying, she broke down. And she said ‘he didn’t even know his name,’” said Wilson, referring to Trump.

Trump had faced criticism for not contacting the families of the soldiers killed in Niger right away.

At a press briefing on Monday, he said he had written them letters and would call soon, while accusing his predecessor Barack Obama of neglecting to call as many grieving families as himself.

He also suggested on a call to Fox News radio yesterday that Obama had not made a condolence call to retired Marine general John Kelly, Trump’s White House chief of staff, after his son was killed in action in Afghanistan.

The statements sparked outrage from former Obama aides, who said Trump’s claims were baseless.

© – AFP, 2017

Read: ‘He knew what he signed up for’: Trump faces backlash over call to soldier’s widow

Read: Criticism after Trump falsely claims Obama didn’t call grieving military families

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