The grieving widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson made her first public appearance Monday since she was pulled into a national firestorm stemming from President Donald Trump’s condolence call. On “Good Morning America,” Myeshia Johnson told George Stephanopoulos that the president could not remember her fallen husband’s name and that she has “nothing to say” to him.
Sgt. Johnson was killed 19 days ago and was buried Saturday. He was one of four servicemen killed on Oct. 4 in an ambush in Niger.
Myeshia Johnson said her call from the president made her “very upset and hurt.”
She said that Rep. Frederica Wilson’s account of the phone call was “100 percent correct,” in which the president reportedly said of La David Johnson, “He knew what he signed up for, but I guess it hurts anyways.”
“And it made me cry. I was very angry at the tone of his voice, and how he said it,” she said.
Johnson also said Trump initially couldn’t remember her husband’s name, only recalling it once her read it off a report. She added, “I didn’t say anything. I just listened.”
Shortly after the interview, Trump, who previously said Wilson fabricated his comments, took to Twitter to dispute Johnson’s claim, saying he “spoke [La David Johnson’s] name from beginning, without hesitation!”
Photographs taken at the funeral on Saturday showed relatives sobbing and members of his battalion in tears. Myeshia Johnson kissed the casket just before her husband was buried. However, during the new interview, she said she has never seen her husband’s body and can’t even be sure his body is inside the casket.
“Why couldn’t I see my husband? Every time I asked to see my husband, they wouldn’t let me,” she said. “ … They won’t show me a finger, a hand. I know my husband’s body from head to toe, and they won’t let me see anything.”
“I don’t know what’s in that box. It could be empty, for all I know.”