The late U.S. soldier at the center of a nasty dispute between his widow, his congresswoman and the president was killed after he tried to save fallen soldiers during an ambush in West Africa earlier this month, according to a new report citing defense officials. Sgt. La David Johnson returned to where the site in Niger where Islamic State-linked militants ended up killing four U.S. commandos, including himself, the Daily Mail reported.
The selfless act exemplified Johnson, according to his widow, Myeshia Johnson, who called him “an awesome soldier.”
Although his fellow soldiers killed and injured in the ambush were evacuated following the attack on October 4, Johnson’s body was not retrieved for about 48 hours, prompting questions about what happened in Niger.
The U.S. soldiers had on “no body armor and were driving unarmored 4x4s” and wore “t-shirts and baseball caps,” said one Nigerien soldier traveling with the convoy. “I was surprised that the Americans would go out into the zone with such a light convoy and no air cover, no drones to keep watch over them.”
After more than two weeks of not speaking publicly about the ambush, Trump phoned Johnson’s widow with a disrespectful condolence call, said Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson, who received death threats for her subsequent heated exchanges with the president. Trump would deny telling Johnson’s widow that her husband knew what he signed up for before the White House confirmed the president said it. The episode devolved into the latest instance of the president showing little to no respect for Black women.