Almost $500K raised for kids of fallen soldier Sgt. La David Johnson

Credit The Associated Press White House Chief of Staff John Kelly Credit AP

Credit The Associated Press White House Chief of Staff John Kelly Credit AP

A Florida congresswoman said that the family of a US service member killed in Niger was "astonished" when President Donald Trump suggested in a phone call that the soldier "must've known what he signed up for".

"He was a true role model", Wilson told the Miami Herald about Johnson. He blamed the so-called #fakenews for picking up the allegations and affording it an unnecessary popularity which has sparked wide criticisms and drawn ire from many quarters. She knew Johnson through her mentoring program, and was with the Johnson family when Trump called.

The president initially said Wilson's account of the conversation was a "complete fabrication", but Kelly confirmed Wilson's version of the call.

Johnson's mother told The Washington Post the president showed "disrespect" in his call to express condolences.

RELATED: Letters to grieving families are a presidential tradition. "It stuns me. I thought at least that was sacred", he said.

The bit about knowing what he was getting into, as I suspected, was not by way of dismissing the sacrifice but rather was to honor the bravery of the young man. Congresswoman Wilson took those words and twisted them about as dishonestly as a person could - blatantly exploiting a family's tragedy for the goal of creating yet another anti-Trump media narrative. Trump said he had written letters and planned to call as he did "traditionally", and that not all presidents had called families of fallen troops. Frederica Wilson said Trump told the widow "you know that this could happen when you signed up for it. but it still hurts".

I stand my account of the call with @realDonaldTrump and was not the only one who heard and was dismayed by his insensitive remarks. La David Johnson, when he called family members Tuesday. "I think it is appalling what the congresswoman has done in the way she's politicized this issue and the way she is trying to make this about something that it isn't", Sanders said Wednesday.

This is a young woman who has two young children, who is six months' pregnant with her third child [and] she has just lost her husband. "Why did you want to speak with him?' I said 'because I wanted to curse him out, '" Wilson added.

De Alencar had to figure out funeral plans, navigate endless paperwork and provide emotional support for her family.

"That's not a negative thing", he said.

"All you got is memories and having the commander-in-chief call you for five minutes is an important memory", she told CNN.

When asked if she was complicit in politicizing the conversation about the deaths of soldiers, Wilson said she was just answering a question asked by the local press.

"He knew what he was getting into when he joined" the military, Kelly said. "I believe they all write". La David T. Johnson scholarship will benefit his children by providing money to their college education.

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