- Rep. Frederica Wilson said White House chief of staff John Kelly owes America an apology.
- The White House has lashed out at Wilson for her criticism of President Donald Trump’s comments during a call with the widow of a fallen service member.
- Kelly mischaracterized her comments at a speech they both attended in 2015.
Rep. Frederica Wilson on Sunday said White House chief of staff John Kelly owes the country an apology for falsely claiming that she boasted about securing funds for an FBI field office in 2015.
In a series of tweets, the Florida Democrat hit back at Kelly for his remarks earlier this week. She also compared a recent bungled operation in Niger to the 2012 embassy attack in Benghazi, Libya that left several Americans dead and led to years of investigations and hearings spearheaded by congressional Republicans.
Over the past week, Wilson has become a target for White House officials in an ongoing war of words, following a special operation left four American special forces soldiers dead in Niger.
On Tuesday, she told a Miami ABC station that she was with the widow of a one of the soldiers killed in the attack, who was a longtime family friend, when Trump called.
Wilson criticised the president for saying the soldier “knew what he signed up for, but when it happens, it hurts anyway.”
“So insensitive,” Wilson said. “He should not have said that. He shouldn’t have said it.”
Trump and members of his administration lashed out at the congresswoman over her characterization of the call.
In a press conference on Thursday, Kelly dubbed Wilson an “empty barrel,” describing her behaviour as “selfish,” and saying it “stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in to that conversation.”
But Kelly also misstated Wilson’s record, saying the congresswoman boasted about procuring funding for an FBI field office in 2015, a claim that was disproven by a video of her remarks that resurfaced after Kelly’s press conference.
Trump has continued to tweet about Wilson, on Saturday and Sunday calling her “wacky” and “the gift that keeps on giving for the Republican Party.”
A number of Gold Star families have spoken out against Trump since the call was made public.
And despite his claim that he’s called virtually every family of a service member killed since he entered the White House, families of several fallen service members said they had not received contact from the president.
General Kelly owes the nation an apology because when he lied about me, he lied to the American public.
— Rep Frederica Wilson (@RepWilson) October 22, 2017
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