White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Wednesday blasted Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson’s criticism of the president’s call to a fallen soldier’s widow as “appalling and disgusting,” even as the congresswoman stood by her account.
“I think it’s appalling what the congresswoman has done and the way she’s politicized this issue and the way that she’s trying to make this about something that it isn’t,” Sanders said during the White House press briefing.
The dispute has steadily escalated — puncuated by claims and counter-claims via Twitter, briefings and interviews — ever since Wilson, D-Fla., claimed Tuesday that President Trump told the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson during a phone call that “he knew what he signed up for.”
Johnson was among four service members killed earlier this month during an ambush in Niger. Wilson called Trump’s remarks in the phone call insensitive.
Johnson’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, later backed up the congresswoman’s account, telling The Associated Press that Trump showed “disrespect.”
But Sanders defended the president’s tone.
“This was a president who loves our country very much, who has the greatest level of respect for men and women in the uniform and wanted to call and offer condolences to the family. And I think to try to create something from that that the congresswoman is doing is frankly appalling and disgusting,” she told reporters.
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