U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., said President Donald Trump’s comments about service members killed in action are “simply unacceptable.”
Duckworth, a U.S. Army veteran who lost both legs in the Iraq war, had harsh words for Trump in an interview Tuesday night on MSNBC with Chris Hayes, when he brought up Trump’s accusations that previous presidents had not comforted the families of dead soldiers.
“There is only one person here who has a record of using Gold Star families as political ploys, and that’s Donald Trump,” Duckworth said.
Four Green Berets, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, and Sgt. La David T. Johnson were killed in Niger on Oct. 4, while on patrol near the country’s border with Mali. They were attacked by at least 40 militants, according to CBS News.
Trump was criticized for allegedly telling the widow of one of the Green Berets that “he must’ve known what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt.”
On Wednesday, he tweeted that report had been “totally fabricated.”
The mother of one of the soldiers said Wednesday that Trump “did disrespect my son” with remarks in a condolence telephone call.
Sgt. La David T. Johnson’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, told The Washington Post that she was present during the call from the White House on Tuesday to Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson. Johnson’s mother also stood by an account of the call from Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) that Trump told Johnson’s widow that her husband “must have known what he signed up for.”
Duckworth was on the show to talk about a tentative health care deal, decrying the “sabotages” from the White House, including cutting the budget for the office that people use to sign up for health care. “There’s a lot of sabotage the White House can still pull,” she said.