Donald Trump has once again become embroiled in a political feud — this time with Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) who recently had to skip voting in Washington after she received several threats, described by a spokesperson as “running the gamut from racist and rude to outright menacing,” after Wilson took on the president, criticizing his treatment of and words addressed to Myeshia Johnson.
Johnson’s husband, Army Sgt. La David Johnson, was one of four U.S. soldiers killed in Niger on Oct. 4 under circumstances that military officials have yet to fully explain.
Wilson, 74, who represents a district in the Miami area, has been a mentor of Sgt. Johnson, who died at the age of 25, since his youth and has also been a longtime friend and supporter of his family. She was riding in a limousine with Johnson’s widow when Trump called to express his sympathies.
However, Wilson, troubled by both the tone and content of the president’s words, issued public criticism of the president — a move which prompted Trump and other members of his Administration to go on the defensive in a series of incendiary Tweets, press conferences and public commentary with some of the statements subsequently being proven as false in their content.
Wilson says Trump is nothing more than a “bombastic bully.”
“He continues to treat people of color as if we’re beneath him and refuses to acknowledge Blacks as individuals and equal American citizens,” she said. “He should not be the president of the United States.”
Wilson has helped to set up a Go Fund Me initiative to support Myeshia Johnson, her two children and a third with whom she’s now pregnant and says her efforts and her outrage continue to be only about the widow and the children that she must now raise on her own.
“So far, we’ve raised about $800,000 that will go toward a scholarship fund for the children [2 and 6 years old] as they grow up,” Wilson said.
As for the death of Sgt. Johnson, it’s not the first time that the Congresswoman has had to face such tragic circumstances.
“Unfortunately, I’ve lost two other members of the military — young men who were part of my 5,000 Role Models of Excellence program that I started in the Miami area many years ago,” she said. “We’ve mentored over 20,000 boys, helping them become positive, hard-working men. And they’ve become leaders in their own communities.”
“For Donald Trump to say, ‘they knew what they signed up for’ is ridiculous. The young men and women who join the military, at least those I know, wanted to serve their country and secure educational opportunities. They did not sign up to die.”
“Further, I’m so upset because Trump and his administration have basically called Myeshia a liar. The truth is that Donald Trump is a liar. And he’s too proud to admit that he’s lied. He should be ashamed of himself. Sadly, there are American citizens who chose to believe Trump and his team instead of accepting the evidence, video taped messages, and therefore affirming Myeshia’s objections to his callous words.”
Wilson, like several other lawmakers of color, has received threats both before and since the exchange of words between her and Trump. Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.) has also received a wave of threats, some that he’s even shared for others to hear during a town hall meeting in Houston last month that not only said he should beware of being lynched, but also included hatred of former President Barack Obama.
But Wilson she says she refuses to back down or be silent.
“I’ve been in the fire before and faced threats from bigots, racists and white supremacists,” she said. “But I am fighter and I have a solid security team that works to keep me safe. I know I’ll be fine. Besides, Donald Trump has denigrated a young woman that must now raise her children all alone. She’s who I’m worried about.”
“I wonder if people know that the same terrorist group that kidnapped the girls in Nigeria, Boko Haram, was the same group that attacked and killed our four soldiers in Niger.”
“Meanwhile, we have a president who has surrounded himself in the White House with white nationalists. Their ideas have been implanted both there and in his mind and impact his words and decisions. We have to stand up and we have to fight.”
“It’s simply inconceivable to believe that a sitting president would call the widow of a soldier who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country and suggest that she somehow twisted his words and is lying about what he said to her. Why hasn’t he at least made a public apology? Why hasn’t he directed White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly to admit his lies and to apologize for them? Why have so many members of Congress remained silent?” Wilson said.