Who Is Frederica Wilson, the Cowboy-Hat-Wearing Florida Democrat Fighting Trump?

CNN's Jake Tapper: Kelly 'laying rhetorical body blows' and 'insulting' Rep Wilson with his remarks

Wilson says she overheard some of the president's words via speakerphone and swears she heard him insensitively say that Johnson "knew what he signed up for".

Speaking at a White House press briefing Thursday, Kelly said he was "stunned" when U.S. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson accused Trump of being insensitive to the mother of a fallen soldier during a recent phone call.

Sgt. Johnson was killed in action October 4 in Niger when his group was ambushed by what are being described as 50 Islamic militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.

"He said to me, 'What do I say?' 'I said to him, 'Sir, there's nothing you can do to lighten the burden on these families, '" he said.

General Kelly Thursday afternoon told reporters that the president had asked him for advice on what to say to the families of the four soldiers who died two weeks ago in Niger. He knew what he was getting into when he joined that 1 percent.

"I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning, and brokenhearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing", Kelly said.

"If you elect to call a family like this, it is about the most hard thing you could imagine", Kelly said Thursday.

A Johnson family member, who also heard the conversation, backed up Wilson's account.

SANDERS: If you want to go after Gen. Kelly, that's up to you, but I think that if you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that that's something highly inappropriate.

The deaths of USA troops is an emotional issue for Kelly, a retired four-star general, whose son was killed by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Afghanistan in 2010. "He knew what the possibilities were because we're at war", Kelly says he had been told by a friend and colleague.

President Donald Trump's latest Twitter foe is a Democratic U.S. congresswoman from Florida who wears a glittering cowboy hat.

Kelly criticized Wilson for listening in on the conversation between Trump and the widow of Sgt. Johnson's aunt, who raised the soldier from a young age, said the family took that remark to be disrespectful. Those calls, he said as he fought back tears, were the most important.

The press secretary added later, responding separately to a question about a speech made by former President George W. Bush on Thursday: "I think if anybody is pushing a lot of fabricated things right now, I think most of that would be coming from the news media". Kelly asked reporters, lamenting that the death of a USA soldier is no longer "sacred". And he told Trump what he was told when his own son was killed in action. Of those families who agreed to speak, about nine said they had contact with the president while nine others said they had not.

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