Sgt. La David Johnson’s Widow: Trump ‘Couldn’t Remember My Husband’s Name’

“That’s what made me upset and cry even more because my husband was an awesome soldier,” Myeshia Johnson said.

Myeshia Johnson, wife of U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, kisses his coffin at a graveside service in Hollywood, Fla., Oct. 21, 2017. / REUTERS

Sgt. La David T. Johnson was one of four U.S. Army soldiers killed on Oct. 4 in an attack in Niger. In an interview Monday morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” his widow, Myeshia Johnson, addressed the controversy surrounding President Donald Trump’s condolence phone call.

Johnson explained that she was in a limo with her family on Tuesday headed to Miami International Airport to receive her husband, who was flown in from Dover Air Force Base. That’s when she received a phone call from the president.

“We were literally on the airport strip getting ready to get out,” she told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos. “And [Trump] called Master Sgt. Neil’s phone.”

Johnson said she then asked Master Sgt. Neil to put his phone on speaker “so my aunt and uncle could hear as well.”

“The president said that ‘he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway,’” Johnson said.

“And it made me cry because I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he couldn’t remember my husband’s name.

“The only way he remembered my husband’s name is because he told me he had my husband’s report in front of him and that’s when he actually said La David. I heard him stumblin’ 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.

“And that’s what made me upset and cry even more because my husband was an awesome soldier.”

She went on to say that it took her husband less time than most soldiers to achieve an E-5 Army rank.

“It took my husband three years to make E-5 — it takes other soldiers five to six years just to make E-5.”

She said that if her husband was alive he’d be on his way to an E-6 or E-7 ranking.

“My husband had high hopes in the military career,” Johnson said.

Stephanopoulos asked her, “What did you say to the president?”

“I didn’t say anything. I just listened,” Johnson responded.

She said she was “very upset and hurt” when she got off the phone.

According to Politico, there was a public statement of condolence drafted and circulated by the National Security Council for Trump to make “almost immediately after a deadly ambush of U.S. soldiers in Niger earlier this month.”

“The statement was circulated among NSC officials as well as Defense Department officials,” Politico reports. “But it was never released, and it was not immediately clear why.”

And two weeks later, Trump made the phone call to Johnson.

Related Story

Congresswoman Says Trump Told Fallen Soldier’s Wife 'He Knew What He Signed Up For'

Congresswoman Says Trump Told Fallen Soldier's Wife 'He Knew What He Signed Up For'

Trump denies on Twitter that he made the comment to U.S. Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson’s widow in a phone call.

Last week, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) first spoke of Trump’s condolence call. The president denied making the comment that Johnson knew what he signed up for.

“Whatever Ms. Wilson said was not fabricated,” Johnson’s widow said. “What she said was 100 percent correct. It was Master Sgt. Neil, me, my aunt, my uncle and the driver and Ms. Wilson in the car, the phone was on speakerphone. Why would we fabricate something like that?”

Johnson said Wilson “has been in our family since we were kids,” and her husband was in the congresswoman’s 5,000 Role Model program.

When Johnson, 25, was killed, he was beginning a deployment with the U.S. team of “Bush Hogs” from the 3rd Special Forces Group. He and his team were ambushed in the Republic of the Niger.

In the interview with Stephanopoulos, Johnson’s widow also said that the military has told her little about what happened in West Africa, and she is upset that she has not been allowed to see her husband’s body.

“They won’t show me a finger, a hand,” she said. “I know my husband’s body from head to toe.”

She said of her husband’s coffin, “I don’t know what’s in that box, it could be empty for all I know.”

On Oct. 6, Nigerian troops recovered his body for a return of remains ceremony Oct. 7 at the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, according to ABC 10.

Johnson’s funeral took place Saturday afternoon. He was buried at the Hollywood Memorial Gardens cemetery.

Shortly after Johnson’s interview aired on “Good Morning America,” Trump tweeted the following:

See Myeshia Johnson’s interview:

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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  • “that’s my lie and I am sticking to it”, sometimes even people in “power” need to step to the plate and own what they say even if it is five hundred times a day. I listened to a speech by Romney the other evening that he delivered during the campaign and as he described trump, Romney hit on every inch of trumps being in a way that even a person with limited hearing would understand what trump is and what he stands for. When an Anglo-Saxon European American male says another Anglo-Saxon European American male is a snake somebody needs to listen.

    Reply
  • “Whatever Ms. Wilson said was not fabricated,” Johnson’s widow said. “What she said was 100 percent correct. It was Master Sgt. Neil, me, my aunt, my uncle and the driver and Ms. Wilson in the car, the phone was on speakerphone. Why would we fabricate something like that?”

    #IbelieveMrsJohnson

    Reply
    • I believe her too. I suspect she doesn’t believe her husband is in that casket. I would want proof, if I were her – The Army appears to be making it up as it goes. I don’t think they truly know what happened and they’re trying to piece it together in the blinding light of being humiliated in front of the world. Certainly any army leadership that would send white people to do a commando mission in Africa cannot be thinking straight.

      Mrs. Johnson is six months pregnant with two young children. And a widow. She has no time for games.

      Trump’s behavior is not rational. A full explanation can be found here: “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President“

      It is not rational behavior, he is completely out of his mind.

      Reply
  • trump, an empty vessel, completely devoid of humanity, humanness, sympathy, empathy, or compassion and utterly unable to act as though he possesses any of these human qualities by voice, emotion, gesture, expression, or deed actually attempted to give condolences to a widow?

    Impossible.

    And as Kelly unwittingly admitted when he chose to stoop to trump’s level (he had to dig a hole to do so), trump had attempted to convey what Kelly has said about his own son (he knew, as a soldier, what he was getting into, i.e. he could die), and, naturally, he completely mangled it.

    And let’s not forget the arms folded, petulant, pouting emotionally 2 year thing some of you like to call a president doublingdown and then the flat out lies Kelly proceeded to tell about Wilson(D) who was actually in the car, unlike Kelly, and the damned video that completely disproved he lies.

    Something about lying down with dogs who have fleas. Kelly has certainty lain with one.

    Did he walk around Arlington Cemetery weeping before his own public spectacle because he knew he was about to toss his own integrity and dignity out the window?

    Disgusting.

    Reply
  • tRump is the typical white AmeriKKKan male and a prototype of all preceding psychopathic presidents. The only difference is that the other presidents didn’t use a fifth graders vocabulary or Twitter. From Washington to tRump (including O’Bamma), they are worldwide KKKilling machines that now brag about using drones to commit murder.

    As an African American female and former Army lieutenant, what the late Muhammad Ali said was true: “I’m not fighting a [rich] white man’s war. I ain’t got nothing against those VietCong–they never called me a ni@@er!! Being treated like a ni@@er in AmeriKKKa’s Nazi military, I would NEVER go fight so that white oppressors like tRump can keep their foot on my neck.

    At risk of being more of a jerk than tRump, as an African American from the “dirty” South, LaDavid shouldn’t have gone over to his native ancestor’s land to fight a RICH WHITE MAN’S WAR/PROBLEM in the first place. Since the Revolutionary War in the mid-1770’s, Black men have helped their white oppressors win every war only to come home as first-class SLAVES/Ni@@ers to sit at the back of the bus! tRump expressed just what most white men feel for a ni@@er soldier: NOTHING! As a conscientious African in AmeriKKKa, I would NEVER go anywhere in Africa to fight for white racist AmeriKKKans when they don’t think BLACK LIVES MATTER!!!

    Those who defend tRump’s statement about how “he knew what he signed up for” don’t have the same sentiments when [white] KKKops are killed. They knew what they signed up for too, but they receive the highest accolades. tRump is different from other presidents only because he’s a triple threat: A sociopath, psychopath, and narcissis.

    Reply
  • It would be interesting to hear what President Trump said in his phone calls to. the other fallen soldiers family’s?

    Reply
    • It’s been on the news, all of the white people I saw interviews were ok with their calls.

      Trump could not remember La David Johnson’s name. Trump did not call him “your husband”, rather he said “your guy”.

      There’s no doubt in my mind that this was about race. That Sgt. Johnson did not deserve the same respect the satisfied white soldiers families felt.

      Reply
      • Probably couldn’t wrap that empty head of his around the fact of a married black man supporting a wife and kids.

        So he wasn’t a husband and a father to trump. Just some random, uh, [guy] she was shacking up with.

        Reminds me of the movie, A Time to Kill, when the white lawyer told the white jurors to close their eyes to imagine the rape of this little black girl (her father was on trial for shooting and killing the rapist after he taunted him in the courthouse before his own trial).

        He described the rape in excruciating detail. Then after making sure they could imagine the horror, said, now imagine she was a little white girl.

        Acquitted.

        Maybe Kelly should have told trump, imagine he was a tall, Aryan, blond blue-eye soldier leaving behind his beautiful blonde wife and little adorable white cherubs. Maybe then, he could muster up his name and a tone and words of sympathy.

        Where’s Kyle?

        Reply
  • Phillip Seeberg

    When I became a lector (reader) at church the most important thing they taught me was to make sure I correctly pronounced the names of the deceased loved ones. People are at a tough place at this time and it doesn’t take much to set them off.
    And it doesn’t take too much work (especially for a president with a big staff) to get the phonetic pronunciation correct.
    Another thing that most presidents learn is that when a soldier dies, the next of kin will sometimes be angry and lash out. You need to be able to take that anger and not throw it back. This is not rocket science.

    Reply
  • Greg Thrasher

    Trump is being normalized by many in government and our military. It is rare to observe anyone challenged and confront Trump

    This is a failure of our nation ‘s morality and our institutions which are embedded in authority and cowardice

    BLM

    Reply
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