America has been waiting to learn the details about how and why Sgt. La David Johnson wasn’t rescued sooner after a deadly ambush against U.S. troops by terrorists in West Africa earlier this month. While other soldiers killed and wounded there were evacuated in the immediate aftermath, the 25-year-old Green Beret’s body was reportedly not retrieved for more than 48 hours.
And no one has any answers, something that is unacceptable to Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Johnson’s representative in Washington, longtime family friend and unapologetically outspoken Black woman who has found herself at the center of a nasty, public dispute with the Trump administration – including, of course, the president himself.
Johnson’s funeral was set to be held Saturday in his hometown of Miami, just days after Wilson announced to the media that the president told Johnson’s widow that her husband “knew what he was signing up for” by enlisting in the military. The comments, which were confirmed after the president denied making them, were widely seen as insensitive at best and at worst the White House taking a callous swipe at yet another Black person. Johnson’s widow is six months pregnant and the mother of two young children.
The White House has spun a web of proven lies in the past few days trying to slander the outspoken, flamboyant Stetson hat-wearing U.S. Representative, and she has called them out on each one. While other powerful Black women have gone head-to-head with Trump in recent months – Jemele Hill, Maxine Waters, April Ryan immediately come to mind – the White House may want to reconsider its approach this time around.
“It is unfortunate that the President of the United States lacks the capacity to comfort a grieving widow. It is also unfortunate that he and his Chief of Staff saw fit to attack a sitting Member of Congress,” Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Louisiana Congressman Cedric L. Richmond, said in a statement Friday. “The Congressional Black Caucus stands with Congresswoman Wilson and we call on the Administration to end these petty insults and answer real questions, like how did Sgt. Johnson die, why was he attacked, and was there more that could have been done to save him and the three other service members who lost their lives that day.”