Ainsley Earhardt joined her Fox & Friends cohosts in suggesting that the (black) Gold Star family offended by Donald Trump’s “He knew what he signed up for’ remark should have been more grateful for Trump’s “extra special” gesture.
I can just imagine the Fox News poutrage if President Barack Obama had said what Trump reportedly said to the widow of a fallen soldier, once Trump finally got around to calling her (after being publicly challenged over his lack of response): He “must have known what he signed up for.”
Trump’s shockingly insensitive remark was first reported by a (black) Democratic Congresswoman, Frederica Wilson, who overheard the conversation. Today, after Fox & Friends aired, the soldier’s mother confirmed Wilson’s account.
But the Curvy Couch Cheering Squad aka Fox & Friends only had resentment for Wilson and, by implication, the family. You’d have thought it was Trump making the sacrifice for his country and the family who needed to honor him. "Not in the tank for Trump" Earhardt got the resentment rolling:
EARHARDT: So this representative, this Democrat down in Florida, said she was in the car - I believe it was in the car or she was listening on the speaker phone with the wife down in Miami. And she said that the president was insensitive when he called to say, “I’m sorry your husband died fighting for our country.” And she said he framed it wrong, he said that comment, she was really offended by it. My response to this was the president of the United States of America called to say, “Thank you for your service. I’m sorry for your sacrifice.” That in it of itself is extremely special that the president of the United States picked up the phone to call these families.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Also, listen, this is one representative’s opinion about what she thought the tone was and how it was being portrayed by the president to the slain soldier’s family. Who are you to sit there and say, “I am offended by the way, by the president’s tone to this family?”
If this family wants to speak out, I get it. For her to scramble and call CNN into this story and make herself this major event, is to me is totally inappropriate.
Funny, just yesterday, Kilmeade didn’t mind at all when Trump dragged Gen. John Kelly’s fallen son into the story after Trump falsely accused Obama of not calling military families.
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Well, the key is, we have not heard from the family, itself. We have simply heard from a Democratic Congresswoman who says the president was insensitive.
EARHARDT: And it’s OK if we don’t hear from the family. We’re not expecting to hear from the family. They’re grieving right now. But, out of all the things you want to complain about the president, this is not something you should be complaining about in my opinion because he called the family to say, “I’m really sorry. Thank you for your sacrifice.” She didn’t like the tone. She didn’t like the way he phrased one sentence. I mean, do you really think the president was calling to condemn the family? No.
KILMEADE: I know one family member said that the president waiting was smart, “I appreciate it. The last thing we wanted was a call from the president right after we got word that he got killed in Niger."
Kilmeade mispronounced the country’s name.
KILMEADE: So, then, this is a lawmaker coming out and saying, “I don’t like the tone.” So now everyone, when you go to a wake, when you go to a funeral, you’re gonna be graded on the proper mourning.
EARHARDT: Well, the president is not required to call all the families. It’s just extra special and very nice when they do.
Here's an excerpt of Wilson's account of the call which was confirmed by Cowanda Jones-Johnson, mother of fallen Sgt. La David T. Johnson, as per The Washington Post:
“[Johnson’s widow] was crying the whole time, and when she hung up the phone, she looked at me and said, ‘He didn’t even remember his name.’ That’s the hurting part.” Wilson told MSNBC on Wednesday that Johnson’s widow was shaken by the exchange.
“She was in tears. She was in tears. And she said, ‘He didn’t even remember his name.’”
Trump has denied the account in a tweet:
Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017
And to a reporter
I didn’t say what that congresswoman said; didn’t say it all. She knows it,” Trump said when asked about the exchange by a reporter. “I had a very nice conversation with the woman, with the wife who was — sounded like a lovely woman. Did not say what the congresswoman said, and most people aren’t too surprised to hear that.”
It’s worth pointing out that in neither comment did Trump express any concern that the family may have misunderstood him. He didn’t even mention the widow’s name.
Watch the disgraceful, disrespectful reaction from the October 18, 2017 Fox & Friends, below, via Media Matters.
Underneath, watch Sgt. Johnson’s widow weeping over his casket, from ABC News, and ask yourself, what kind of man would make this about himself and what kind of “news” program would help him do it?