The women of the Congressional Black Caucus backed Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson in her dust-up with the Trump administration, calling on White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to apologize for his disparaging remarks about Wilson.
The tiff between Wilson and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly stems from a back-and-forth Wilson with President Trump over a call he made to the family of a soldier killed in Niger, which Wilson and the soldier’s family said was disrespectful in tone.
Kelly, while attempting to defend Trump, claimed that Wilson took credit during a 2015 speech for securing federal aid for a new FBI building in Miramar, Florida, which Wilson vehemently denied. A video released by the South Florida Sun Sentinel of the dedication ceremony for the building seemingly confirms Wilson’s account of the speech.
The CBC issued the following statement this week in response:
The women of the Congressional Black Caucus stand in strong support of our colleague, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. Congresswoman Wilson is a woman of impeccable integrity and a dedicated public servant. She is a highly respected Member of Congress who has demonstrated extremely competent leadership on a number of important issues, and we are especially proud of her fearless and uncompromising leadership to fight for the release of nearly 300 Nigerian school girls who were kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram.
We were appalled by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s statements where he called Congresswoman Wilson an ’empty barrel’ and accused her of taking credit for securing funding for a new FBI Building in Miramar, Florida, that was named after two fallen FBI agents, Benjamin Grogan and Jerry Dove. A video of Congresswoman Wilson’s comments on that day has been released, and it provides indisputable proof that she never made any of the statements of which General Kelly falsely accused her.
General Kelly’s comments are reprehensible. Congresswoman Wilson’s integrity and credibility should not be challenged or undermined by such blatant lies. We, the women of the Congressional Black Caucus, proudly stand with Congresswoman Wilson and demand that General Kelly apologize to her without delay and take responsibility for his reckless and false statements.
As of Sunday, the following CBC women had signed on to the statement: Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.), Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio), Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), Alma Adams (D-N.C.), Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Val Butler Demings (D-Fla.).