Trump promised $25K to father of fallen soldier but didn't follow through

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, who represents Miami Gardens, "totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action", he wrote. "She knows it", Trump told reporters gathered for the start of his meeting with members of the Senate Finance Committee about his proposed tax cuts.

She added: "Basically he said: "Well I guess he knew what he signed up for but I guess it still hurt".

The Democrat congresswoman said she listened to part of the conversation on speaker phone.

Wilson said she was riding in a limousine with Johnson when the president called, and said she heard the conversation on speakerphone.

"He said, 'But you know he must've known what he signed up for, '" Wilson recounted Trump saying during the 3-5 minute call to express his sympathy for Johnson's death.

"President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband", she told the Post. Former Obama administration officials, including former Attorney General Eric Holder, disputed Trump's claim.

"If you look at President Obama and other presidents - a lot of them didn't make calls".

"It's disgusting that the media is taking something that should be recognized as a generous and honest gesture, made privately by the President, and using it to advance the media's biased agenda", she said.

Myeshia Johnson, who is pregnant and mother to Johnson's two children, took Trump's call at 4:45 p.m., just before Johnson's body arrived at Miami International Airport.

Turkey prepared to retake Syria's northern strategic city
Calling the operation a "new step" to establish security in Idlib, he promised Turkey would not desert civilians there. Turkey, however, has backed rebels seeking Assad's ouster.

The White House's defense hasn't quieted critics.

Also on Wednesday, Trump feuded with a congresswoman over her account of a call he made to the widow of a soldier killed in Niger earlier this month.

Miss Wilson added: "You know, that is something that you can say in a conversation but you shouldn't say that to a grieving widow".

The president's response shocked him.

He placed himself at the top of the list, saying: "I think I've called every family of someone who's died", while past presidents did not. What's different is that Trump, alone among them, has suggested he's done a better job of honoring the war dead and their families.

"I wish he hadn't talked about Kelly's son", said a source close to the administration who noted that the whole objective of Monday's press conference was to present Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a unified front.

Like presidents before him, Trump has made personal contact with some families of the fallen but not all.

Eric Holder, the former attorney general under President Obama, tweeted a sharp rebuke, telling Trump, "Stop the damn lying - you're the President".

Two White House officials said Kelly was also frustrated that the controversy had distracted from a significant military win over the Islamic State in Raqqa, Syria.

  • Michelle Webb