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Mon, 23 Oct 2017 19:14:32 +0000
(NEW YORK) -- The pregnant widow of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who was among four U.S. service members killed in Niger this month, expressed a mix of blame and sorrow on Monday on Good Morning America, saying she was "very angry" about President Donald Trump's condolence phone call and upset because she says he struggled to "remember my husband's name."
ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos spoke to Myeshia Johnson, who criticized Trump's handling of the phone call, which started a firestorm of controversy.
"I heard him 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?" said Johnson, who had known her husband since she was 6 years old.
"That's what made me upset and cry even more, because my husband was an awesome soldier."
After Myeshia Johnson's interview aired, Trump argued on Twitter that he said La David Johnson's name "from the beginning" and "without hesitation."
I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2017
Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., last week adamantly defended her version of Trump's phone call to Myeshia Johnson in an interview with ABC News.
Wilson, who was accompanying Johnson to Dover Air Force Base when Trump called, heard him on speakerphone attempting to console her.
"I heard him say, 'Well I guess you know he knew what he was signing up for, but it still hurts,'" Wilson told ABC News.
Trump called her description a "total fabrication."
But Johnson said Wilson was "100 percent correct" about the call from Trump, saying this morning, "Why would we fabricate something like that?"
Johnson said she was barred from seeing her husband's body and was not given a straight story on how he died in Niger. He was 25.
"I need to see him so I will know that that is my husband," said Johnson, who's expecting to give birth to their daughter in January.
She added, "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."
She said the casket her husband came home in, adorned with a U.S. flag, remains a mystery box for her. "I don't know what's in that box," she said. "It could be empty, for all I know."
Johnson added, "I need to see my husband."
As for the circumstances of her husband's death, she said she wants "to know why it took [soldiers] 48 hours to find my husband."
"I don't know how he got killed, where he got killed or anything," she 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. 4."
Asked what she wants people to know about her husband, she said, "I want the world to know how great of a soldier my husband was and a loving and caring father and husband he was to our family."
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