Trump’s reacts inadequately to fallen soldier

Tristan Allen, Reporter

President Donald Trump called family members of a fallen soldier last October to express his sympathy and pay his respects, but according to several sources on the other end of the call, Trump did not do that. This incident is yet another example of a misstep by Trump.

Four U.S. servicemen were killed in an ambush on Oct. 4 in the African country of Niger. CNN reported that on Oct. 17, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla) claimed that she heard the call Trump made to Myeshia Johnson, widow to La David Johnson, one of the four soldiers killed in the ambush in Niger.

“He knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt,” said Trump supposedly to the grieving widow, according to Wilson’s claim. The widow and Cowanda Jones-Johnson, a family member with the widow at the time of the call, agrees with Wilson’s claim.

Trump has a different account of how the call went down, claiming in a tweet that Wilson “totally fabricated what [he] said” to the widow and that he has proof. CNN reported that Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary, said that in the tweet, Trump’s “proof” was referring to people present in the room at the time of the call, and not a recording of the call.

The Washington Post reported that Sanders described the call as “completely respectful.”

Assuming that Wilson’s account of the call is true, since two other individuals, Jones-Johnson and Johnson, that were present at the time of the call support Wilson’s account, Trump would have been better off if he did not make a call at all.

Everybody knows that signing up for a combat role in the military means there is the possibility of dying, but Trump should know better than to remind a grieving widow about that.

Trump on Oct. 17 and the day before claimed that Barack Obama and George Bush, former presidents, did not always call the families of fallen soldiers, unlike him thus far in the presidency.

However, the Washington Post reports that former officials of the Obama administration said that while he might have not called families, he engaged with them in various ways such as penning letters and meeting with them personally.

The Washington Post also reported in 2008 that as commander in chief, Bush made his 16th trip to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington and visited the National Naval Medical Center in Maryland to interact with wounded soldiers. While Bush might have not interacted with families of fallen soldiers, he did interact with veterans.

This strategy of comparing himself to former presidents distracted from the fact that lives were lost, which should have been the main focus of anything he said about the Niger ambush.