Frederica Wilson: 'John Kelly's Trying to Keep His Job, He Will Say Anything'

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht (left) and Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) attend the STARZ Original series "Power" Season Four Premiere at The Newseum on June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for Starz)
October 19, 2017

Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson (Fla.) responded to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's strong criticism of her for publicly discussing President Donald Trump's phone call with a Gold Star wife, saying "he will say anything" and is trying to keep his job.

Wilson told reporters this week that Trump told Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, that she was deeply upset when Trump called her and said her husband knew what he signed up for. Trump responded that characterization of the call was a fabrication, and Wilson called Trump a "liar" in a series of subsequent media appearances.

Kelly, a Gold Star father and retired Marine general, was infuriated by Wilson's conduct, he told White House reporters on Thursday.

He said he was "stunned" and "heartbroken" by her decision to reveal that private phone call to the public, saying he thought that was "sacred." He also defended Trump's words to Johnson and others, saying Trump did the best he could in speaking with the families of the four soldiers killed in a recent ambush in Niger.

According to Politico writer Marc Caputo, Wilson had a quick response to Kelly's remarks at the White House press briefing.

"John Kelly's trying to keep his job. He will say anything," Wilson said. "There were other people who heard what I heard."

Sgt. Johnson's mother told the Washington Post that Trump "did disrespect" her son and his family with the call.

"President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband," Jones-Johnson said.

Caputo wrote he got the quote from Wilson after a hearing she chaired on recent nursing home deaths in Florida.

"I handed her my phone with the story [about Kelly] and this was her comment before getting into a car," Caputo wrote.

Published under: John Kelly , Politico