Who Is Frederica Wilson, the Cowboy-Hat-Wearing Florida Democrat Fighting Trump?

Elias Hubbard
October 21, 2017

Sanders repeated a misleading statement regarding Kelly's remarks in the press briefing Friday.

The White House's aggressive effort to discredit a Florida congresswoman who criticized President Trump over a military condolence call ran into a new set of problems Friday when a video emerged showing that the chief of staff had made false claims about her.

John Kelly on Thursday derided Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida on Thursday as an "empty barrel", saying she had delivered a speech at an Federal Bureau of Investigation field office dedication in which she "talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building".

Relatives of people who died in military service have recounted varied interactions with President Donald Trump in the hard days and weeks after the deaths of their loved ones. She also used a dismissive Southwest rancher's term, calling Wilson, who often wears elaborate hats, "all hat and no cattle".

During his presser, General Kelly spoke about a time when Gold Star families and women were sacred.

The solemn scene played out several times Friday night as dozens of people - some who knew him and some who did not - paid their respects to the fallen Miami Gardens soldier, who died October 4 with three other American servicemen in an ambush attack in Niger in West Africa.

Trump has taken again to Twitter to jab at the lawmaker.

One of the most effective damage-control performances you'll ever see by possibly the only man in the administration with the moral authority to do it. John Kelly isn't just a retired Marine general, he's the father of a US soldier killed in action in Afghanistan himself.

When someone is killed in action, a Pentagon officer notifies next of kin and sends information to the White House office that is confirmed and assembled, she said.

Before going into the church, Melvin Harris, a Korean war veteran, said, "I came to pay my respects to my brother". "He has my sympathy for the loss of his son. But, I'm going to guess that it was the same or similar to the letter that everybody else received".

"The Fake News is going insane with wacky Congresswoman Wilson (D), who was SECRETLY on a very personal call, and gave a total lie on content!"

"I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning and brokenhearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing", Kelly said.

Kelly was brought in to make this go away, by portraying Donald Trump in a more sympathetic light.

The Associated Press tried to reach the families of all 43 people who have died in military service since Trump became president and made contact with about 20 families. He said Tuesday: "I think I've called every family of someone who's died" while suggesting past presidents had not. She added that while no recordings of the conversation existed, several senior officials, including Kelly, witnessed the call and described Trump's manner as "respectful" and "very sympathetic". In response, Kelly told him what General Joseph Dunford, now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told him when Robert Kelly was killed. "And he was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken". "He knew what the possibilities were because we're at war".

American and French troops have been providing training and support to the militaries of Niger and other vulnerable African countries where Islamic extremism has grown. Sanders refused to discuss the details of the operation, including whether Trump authorized it, while it was being investigated. In the call, which was put on speakerphone, Trump said "he knew what he signed up for ... but when it happens it hurts anyway", according to Wilson, a longtime family friend of the Johnsons and their Congressional representative. It was Johnson's own mother, who told WaPo that Wilson's account of the call was accurate and that "President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband".

If, as Kelly rightly suggests, Gold Star families deserve respect for making the ultimate sacrifice for our country, that applies to the Johnson family's right to decide who they want to be with during this unimaginably hard time.

Trump on Wednesday accused Representative Frederica Wilson of lying about what the president told a widow of one of four US soldiers killed in Niger earlier this month-and he said he can prove it.

The campaign was created by Myeshia Johnson.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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