BY REBECCA SAVRANSKY – 10/22/17
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) is calling for an apology from White House chief of staff John Kelly for “character assassination.”
“Not only does he owe me an apology, but he owes an apology to the American people,” Wilson said during an appearance Sunday on MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” according to The Washington Post.
She also referred to Kelly as a “puppet of the president.”
The Florida Democrat called the deaths of four U.S. soldiers in Niger a “catastrophe.”
“We had four soldiers who died. They have been buried,” she said. “And we need to know why, and we need to know about the special circumstances surrounding [U.S. Army Sgt.] La David Johnson.”
The comments come amid an ongoing feud between Wilson and President Trump.
Wilson last week said she overheard a conversation between Trump and Johnson’s widow. During that call, Wilson said Trump told the widow that Johnson “knew what he was getting into.”
Trump denied the claim and has since taken to Twitter to blast the Democratic lawmaker as “wacky” and the “gift that keeps on giving” for the GOP.
Kelly last week gave an emotional press conference during which he railed against Wilson for sharing the contents of the call.
He said he was “stunned” that a member of Congress “would have listened in on that conversation.”
“I would have thought that was sacred,” he said.
Kelly also called Wilson an “empty barrel” and suggested she showed her true colors when she took credit for securing “$20 million” in funding for the FBI field office in Miami.
“A congresswoman stood up, and in a long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there in all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building,” he said.
“And how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call, he gave the money — the $20 million — to build the building, and she sat down, and we were stunned.”
Wilson pushed back, calling Kelly’s accusations “crazy” and said the building “was funded long before I got to Congress.”
Video published Friday by the Sun Sentinel of south Florida showed Wilson spent several minutes claiming credit for legislation that named the building for two slain FBI agents, but she made no mention of winning funding for it.