Military widow Myeshia Johnson said Monday morning that President Donald Trump could not remember her husband’s name during a phone call that has sparked a national controversy.
Ms Johnson’s late spouse Sgt La David Johnson was travelling back from a community leadership meeting in Niger on Oct 4 along with a dozen Special Forces before being ambushed by militants affiliated with Daesh (IS).
Johnson and three others were killed, and two others injured.
Investigations by the US Department of Justice and the military’s Africa Command are looking into why Johnson was apparently separated from the others in the ensuing shootout.
His surviving wife told ABC News that Mr Trump’s “stumbling” had “hurt her the most.”
“If my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risks his life for our country, why can’t you remember his name?”
Trump had responded within minutes of this story breaking, disputing her account.
He tweeted that he had “a very respectful conversation” with Ms Johnson, posting that he had spoke his name “without hesitation.”
I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2017
Johnson has yet to respond to Trump’s tweet.
John Kelly last week made a heartfelt defence of Trump and the “sacredness” of such a call from the president to console a loved one of a lost soldier.
He ended up disputing Trump’s denial that he said “inconsiderate” words to the widow but confirming it in his account from the podium of the White House press room.
Trump denies Wilson’s claims
Trump denied a politician’s claim that he made Johnson cry during a phone call by uttering insensitive words as completely false.
US Congresswoman Frederica Wilson claimed he told the bereaved wife of Sgt. La. David Johnson that “he knew what he was signing up for, but I guess it hurts anyway.”
The president tweeted out early last Wednesday morning he had proof that Wilson, a Democratic member of the House of Representatives, had “totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action.”
Mr. Trump has yet to provide evidence of the fabrication.
Trump was alread under fire for saying most other presidents did not contact the families of dead US armed forces members after not initially connecting with the families of those that died in Niger.
Wilson told Miami TV station WPLG that she heard Trump say the remarks to Ms Johnson while on speakerphone. She said the call was made just before the soldier’s casket arrived in the state.
Weinstein charged with rape, sexual assault
The disgraced media mogul faces up to 28 years in prison for these charges alone.
A Los Angeles district attorney on Monday charged disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein with raping a woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013.
If Weinstein is convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 28 years in prison.
“We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement, reported Reuters.
It comes the same day that Weinstein is on trial for a separate but similar case in New York. ■
Trump impeached by U.S. House
Trump could be the third-ever president impeached.
The U.S. House of Representatives late on Wednesday impeached Republican President Donald Trump with a vote largely along party lines, passing at two articles of impeachment put forward by the majority Democrats claiming abuse of power and obstruction of justice, handing the fate of the president over to a trial in the GOP-held Senate.
The ballots marked by lawmakers in the House came after a day of debate that saw Democrats calling Trump a threat to democracy as Republicans fought back, claiming the proceedings were a partisan coup with Rep. Kevin McCarthy calling it the “least credible impeachment in American history.”
Democrats in the House, led by Nancy Pelosi, accuse the 73-year-old president of abusing his power by asking Ukraine to investigate former Vice President and current presidential hopeful Joe Biden in return for military aid. Trump is also charged with obstructing congressional probes by directing officials and departments to ignore legal summons.
Impeachment is an extraordinary check on presidential power written into the United States Constitution by the founders that allows for the removal of presidents by Congress over the vague “high crimes and misdemeanours” — and Trump is the third president to be impeached after Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
As the House made history, Trump, who denies any wrongdoing, rallied supporters from Battle Creek, Michigan.
Article One was supported by 230 Democrats while two Democrats voted against the article, which accuses Trump of abuse of power over his dealings with Ukraine. Democrats lost one ballot when voting in favour of Article Two, which alleges abuse of power.
Sole Independent Justin Amash, who left the Republican Party earlier this year, voted with Democrats on both articles. None of the 195 Republicans in the House supported the articles, as expected by political analysts, while Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard voted only “present”.
Democrats unveil articles of impeachment against Trump
It starts a process that is likely to end in the Senate.
U.S. Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Tuesday, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress as part of a major step forward in a process that is likely to end in a dramatic trial in the Republican-run Senate.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the impeachment charges next week, according to congressional reporters. With a Democrat majority, the House is nearly certain to impeach Trump, which acts as an indictment for the crimes outlined in the articles.
The process will then move to a trial in the Senate where Trump will either be acquitted or removed from office in a two-thirds majority. GOP senators have shown little appetite to remove Trump from office but with public support for such a move growing, there could be surprises ahead.
Trump is the third president in U.S. history to face impeachment.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Chairmen Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff gave a brief press conference announcing the two articles of impeachment that, though expected was historic, as charges of “high crimes and misdemeanours” were laid against the U.S. president.
The impeachment charges stem from an investigation launched on Sept. 24 that probed allegations that Trump carried out a so-called “quid pro quo” arrangement with Ukraine during which he withheld military aid until Kiev would investigate political rival and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Republicans insist that the Democrat-led effort is an attempt to undo the results of the 2016 federal election as part of a so-called “witch hunt” against Trump. The president denies any wrongdoing in the Ukraine case as well as in the special counsel probe that dominated the beginning of his presidency.
An hour later, Pelosi stood before reporters for a second time to announce that Democrats had reached a revised North American free trade agreement deal in what allies of the president view as a victory, fulfilling a policy goal of the Trump administration.
‘Endangered the U.S. Constituition’
In a statement to reporters, House Judiciary Committee Chairman and point man for the impeachment inquiry Jerrold Nadler said that the Democrats were forced to take action due to Trump endangering the U.S. Constitution, undermining the next election and putting national security at jeopardy.
“No one, not even the president, is above the law,” Nadler said, flanked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other chairpersons involved in the impeachment probe, adding that “our elections are a cornerstone of democracy”. ■
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