CNN host Don Lemon teared up on-air Monday night after reading his "open letter" to President Donald Trump in response to Trump's tweet attempting to rebut the widow of a fallen soldier who was killed in Niger earlier this month.
Earlier on Monday, Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, one of four U.S. service members killed in Niger, said on "Good Morning America" that Trump's condolence call made her "cry even worse." She added that Trump "couldn't remember my husband's name."
Trump pushed back against Myeshia Johnson's account on Twitter, writing, "I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, 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's interview and Trump's subsequent tweet led Lemon to write Trump an open letter, which read in part:
Your tweet this morning essentially called her a liar.
Mr. Trump, please stop it. Please stop!
Think of what Sgt. Johnson would want. You are putting his widow in the terrible position of having to fight for her dignity when she should be concentrating on taking care of herself, her health, her two children, and the one on the way.
I know you have children—and two daughters.
Can you imagine Ivanka or Tiffany in Myeshia's shoes?
Having a fight with the commander in chief while they are pregnant and grieving?
If Myeshia Johnson is mad at you, take it.
Just as President Bush and others did.
It's part of what YOU signed up for when you decided to descend that escalator and throw your hat in the ring for president.
You're commander in chief, the president of the United States of America, the greatest country on Earth.
Act like it.
Act like you know that you're big enough not to have to win every fight or respond to every criticism.
Act like you know where the high road is.
Confident and secure people ask for help, and for forgiveness.
Insecure people think they know everything and need no help.
Lemon went on to call La David Johnson a "hero" and said that he is a "role model" to him as an "awesome soldier, a great man, and a great American."
After Lemon read his open letter, he introduced a CNN panel but had to stop for a few seconds to compose himself after he appeared to be crying.
"Sorry, I'm sorry," Lemon said.
Trump's phone call to Myeshia Johnson became public after Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson (Fla.) revealed details of the conversation and accused Trump of being "insensitive" when he called Johnson last week before her husband's ceremonial homecoming at Miami International Airport.
Four American soldiers, including La David Johnson, were ambushed and killed on Oct. 4 during a joint mission with the Nigerien military in West Africa.