After she issued a scathing and inappropriate reply to White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly Thursday afternoon, Rep. Frederica Wilson’s staff says she will no longer be speaking publicly about President Donald Trump’s condolence call to a Gold Star widow.
“The congresswoman will not be making any further comment on the issue because the focus should be on helping a grieving widow and family heal, not on her or Donald Trump,” Wilson’s spokesperson told media in a statement late Thursday.
That’s a swift and dramatic change from Wilson’s previous stance on the matter.
After Gen. John Kelly criticized the Congresswoman for politicizing what was supposed to be a private phone call between Trump and the widow of a soldier killed in the line of action in Niger last week, Wilson told media that “John Kelly’s trying to keep his job.”
“He will say anything. There were other people who heard what I heard,” she continued.
The statements were met with a wave of criticism on social media and among cable news networks. Likely in danger of losing what support she’d built among activists and mainstream media, it seems her staff called time out on her public commentary.
Wilson grabbed headlines earlier this week when she accused Trump of telling U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson, that “her husband knew what he signed up for … but when it happens, it hurts anyway.” The comment followed on the heels of Trump criticizing former President Obama for failing to honor fallen troops, and Trump responded to Wilson almost immediately, declaring on Twitter that he had “proof” the Congresswoman was lying about his interaction with Johnson.
Gen. Kelly tried to calm the waters Thursday by saying that Trump had taken his job of speaking to Gold Star husbands and wives very seriously, and explained how he’d coached the President through the process. Kelly had harsh words for Wilson, telling media that “It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation. I thought at least that was sacred,” he added.