Trump Sparks Outrage After Telling U.S. Army Widow Her Husband 'Knew What He Signed Up For'

Trump's statement followed his false comment on Monday that Obama did not call families of fallen U.S. soldiers

File photo: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in Arlington, VA on Aug 21, 2017.
Carolyn Kaster/AP

U.S. President Donald Trump has come under fire for reportedly telling the widow of a U.S. soldier recently killed in action in Africa that her dead husband "knew what he signed up for." The quote was first reported by WPLG Local 10, an affiliate station of ABC news in the Miami, Florida area. 

According to the station's report, on Tuesday Trump called Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Army Sergeant David Johnson killed in action in Niger two weeks ago. Rep. Fredrica Wilson (D-FL), a member of Congress who listened to the call, told the station that Trump used the words "he knew what he signed up for, but when it happens it hurts anyway" during the five-minute-long conversation. 

Rep. Wilson later told the Washington Post that she was in the car with Myeshia Johnson during the call, and that when Trump uttered those words, the military widow "broke down in tears." She added that she (Wilson) "wanted to curse" Trump for making such an "insensitive" statement.

Trump sparked an outrage on Monday when he said that some of his predecessors did not call the families of fallen U.S. Soldiers - a false statement that was immediately refuted by former U.S. officials. When asked about this lie on Tuesday, Trump said that his White House Chief of Staff, retired General John Kelly, did not get a phone call from former President Barack Obama after his son died in Iraq in 2010. 

Obama, however, invited Kelly to the White House six months after his son's death to attend an event for families of fallen soldiers, during which Kelly and his wife sat at the same table with First Lady Michelle Obama.