The student news site of Chippewa Valley High School

The Tomahawk

Condolence Call: Comforting or Controversial?

Nina Gojcaj, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Pictured above: fallen soldier, Sgt. La David Johnson.

One of the most heartbreaking situations is saying goodbye to a loved one as they leave to serve for our country. Being a part of the U.S. military is beyond honorable, but not knowing when they will return, or worse, if they will return, is something many people fear. Myeshia Johnson tragically lost her husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, after him and three other U.S. service members were killed in Niger. President Trump’s condolence phone call to the pregnant widow did not help the situation in any way.

Pictured above: the family of Sgt. La David Johnson.

Ultimately, the biggest issue is that there is a clear disagreement on what really happened. The original statement, made by Frederica S. Wilson (democratic congresswoman who witnessed the conversation), is that Trump said to Ms. Johnson that her husband “knew what he signed up for”, and only referred to her husband as “your guy” throughout the entire conversation. First, Sgt. Johnson’s mother confirmed this to be true, and later the widow herself broke her silence and assured the public that Ms. Wilson’s original statement was true. Trump, after hearing these statements made against him, accused Ms. Wilson of fabricating the conversation. According to authors Mark Landler and Yamiche Alcindor of the New York Times, Trump insisted that he “had a very nice conversation with the woman, with the wife, who sounded like a lovely woman.” Showing how this situation has two completely different sides.

General Kelly’s, White House chief of staff, perception differs from Ms. Wilson’s original statement greatly. He claims to have advised president Trump what to say when making this phone call, and it was very different from Ms. Wilson’s explanation of what happened. General Kelly defended Trump, saying he was “disappointed a congresswoman of our country would lie about an issue so sensitive to many”. His counter argument for Trump saying to the widow that Sgt. Johnson “knew what he signed up for” was that Trump was trying to explain that he died doing what he loved, but that it came off as disrespectful to the family. In an emotional speech, General Kelly stated that Ms. Wilson was trying to exploit a misheard sentence in a time of grief to pursue her agenda against Trump. Kelly went on to say that Trump did all of the right things in this situation, even saying that instead of an impersonal note that is usually used by presidents, he went out of his way to make a phone call. This does not change the fact that Trump’s comments, whether misinterpreted or not, were not only insensitive but were also unnecessary.

Landler, Mark, and Yamiche Alcindor. “Trump’s Condolence Call to Soldier’s Widow Ignites an Imbroglio.” The New York Times, 18 Oct. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/10/18/us/politics/trump-widow-johnson-call.html.

Shear, Michael D. “Kelly Delivers Fervent Defense of Trump Call to Soldier’s Widow.” The New York Times, 19 Oct. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/us/politics/john-kelly-son-trump.html.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Condolence Call: Comforting or Controversial?

    Showcase

    Senior Spotlight: Katie Burton

  • Condolence Call: Comforting or Controversial?

    Showcase

    Chippewa Valley’s 2017 Senior Night

  • Condolence Call: Comforting or Controversial?

    Showcase

    The Hot Start

  • Condolence Call: Comforting or Controversial?

    News

    To Stand Or To Kneel, That Is The Question

  • Condolence Call: Comforting or Controversial?

    Showcase

    Mac Blue Champions: Chippewa Boys Tennis Takes Over

  • Condolence Call: Comforting or Controversial?

    Showcase

    In the Eyes of the Band

  • Condolence Call: Comforting or Controversial?

    Showcase

    The Ultimate Rivalry: Chippewa vs. Dakota

  • Condolence Call: Comforting or Controversial?

    Showcase

    Going Behind the Scenes of the Homecoming Parade

  • Condolence Call: Comforting or Controversial?

    Showcase

    March of Dimes: A Fighting Chance for Every Baby

  • Condolence Call: Comforting or Controversial?

    Showcase

    The Most Heartwarming Day of the Year

The student news site of Chippewa Valley High School
Condolence Call: Comforting or Controversial?