On Monday, in an job interview with “Good Morning America, inch Johnson, the widow of slain Sgt. La David Johnson, talked for the first time in public about her telephone call with Trump. She confirmed Wilson’s account that Trump had informed her that her husband “knew exactly what he was getting into” plus added: “It made me weep because I was very angry on the tone of his voice and exactly how he said it. He didn’t want to remember my husband’s name. inch
To which Trump nearly immediately replied via Twitter
: “I had a very respectful conversation with all the widow of Sgt. La Brian Johnson, and spoke his name through beginning, without hesitation! ”
That it is staggering to consider what Trump does here.
After working the weekend attacking Wilson with regard to allegedly lying about the nature from the call between himself and Manley — even though White House main of staff John Kelly verified last week the basics of Wilson’s accounts of the words Trump used — the President is now suggesting the fact that widow of a soldier killed for is lying.
There’s simply no other way to understand this. Johnson says Trump didn’t want to remember her husband’s name. Trump says he used La David’s name “without hesitation” from the start from the call. Both of those things can not be true.
Below is the thing: It is absolutely possible that will, at root, this is all one particular big misunderstanding. Trump, awkward plus unfamiliar with the empathy required to get this to sort of call, came across as callous and uncaring to Johnson plus Wilson in an entirely unintentional method. They were offended.
At that point, Trump could have made a lot — maybe all — of the go away by simply calling Myeshia Manley back and saying something along these types of lines: “I’m so sorry our own previous call made you raise red flags to. I struggle with every death of the American soldier and I simply are not great all the time at offerring how much your loss means to me personally and the country. ”
Would Johnson (and Wilson) be totally satisfied? Maybe not. However it would be a respectful gesture in order to someone who has just lost a spouse fighting for this country under purchases from the commander in chief.
It would be taking high road. It would be saying: Whether I said the right things, they will weren’t received in the way I designed them. So I am going to admit might move on.
Carrying out that, of course , would mean not becoming Donald Trump. Throughout his lifetime — in the business world and in the last two-plus years in politics — Trump has repeatedly shown an absence of empathy for people who are not him. And has demonstrated, on a near-daily schedule, that he will say and do something in support of “winning. ”
That includes crossing lines when it comes to criticizing the military.
He attacked Arizona His party Sen. John McCain, who invested almost six years in a Northern Vietnamese prison camp, as a battle hero only because he was taken. “He’s not a war hero, inch Trump said
. “He was a battle hero because he was captured. I love people that weren’t captured. ” (Trump received five medical deferments — including a single for “bone spurs”
— to avoid Vietnam service. )
He strike back at Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who dropped his son in Iraq within 2004, after Khan gave the speech critical of him on the Democratic National Convention. “Who had written that? Did Hillary’s script authors write it? ” Trump said of Khan’s speech
. “I think I have made a lot of sacrifices. I function very, very hard. ”
And now this — probably the lowest Trump has sunk: Discussing the account of a condolence contact with a recently widowed soldier’s spouse.
Put away, for a moment, the fact that Trump appears largely incapable of empathy. That’s a huge problem in any person, much less within someone who is the leader of the free of charge world.
Think about only how badly Trump botched this from a political perspective. We have been now on Day 8 of the story, which boils down to: “Trump phone calls widow of soldier who passed away in battle, upsets her, conflicts nature of call. ”
Politically speaking, it was a layup. Trump not only skipped the layup. He threw the particular ball over the backboard and from the gym. Then he went and discovered the ball in the hallway plus deflated it.
It’s hard to imagine how Trump could have handled all of this any worse. Plus what’s amazing is that there is a 0% chance he will admit that he mishandled it or try to make details even marginally better with Manley or Wilson. Instead, if previous is prologue, he will continue on the particular attack and then use any open public appearance in the coming weeks in order to insist events proved him correct.
Stunning — even for Trump.