White House chief of Staff John Kelly must apologize to Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) for his “blatant lies,” according to a statement released Sunday by 17 female members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The statement from her fellow members continues the ongoing tit-for-tat between the Trump administration and Wilson over who is telling the truth about President Donald Trump’s call expressing his condolences over the death of a U.S. serviceman in fighting in Niger.
“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,” said the members, including Democratic former CBC chairs Marsha Fudge of Ohio, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters of California, and Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas.
Kelly, himself a Gold Star father, accused Wilson of inappropriately listening to Trump’s call to the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, one of four U.S. service members killed in Niger. Kelly made an unusual appearance during the White House press briefing to address Wilson’s claim that President Donald Trump was insensitive during a call with Johnson’s wife, Myeshia Johnson. Wilson was present when she received Trump’s phone call.
Further seeking to undermine Wilson, Kelly alleged that the Florida representative flippantly claimed credit for getting funding for a Miami FBI building that was dedicated to two slain agents. Video from the event directly refutes Kelly’s claims. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Kelly, a four-star general, by saying it was inappropriate to criticize someone of his rank.
For his part, Trump attacked Wilson again Sunday through his Twitter account.
“Wacky Congresswoman Wilson is the gift that keeps on giving for the Republican Party, a disaster for Dems. You watch her in action & vote R!”