Widow of Fallen Gold Star Soldier: “[Trump] Couldn’t Remember My Husband’s Name.”

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Widow of Fallen Gold Star Soldier: “[Trump] Couldn’t Remember My Husband’s Name.”

This story is getting more depressing by the day. It all began when four American soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger that has produced far more questions than answers. Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson told local reporters that she was sitting in a car with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and President Trump called to offer his condolences. Instead of consoling the grieving family, Trump wound up making everything worse—reportedly forgetting La David Johnson’s name, and telling Sgt. Johnson’s widow: “He knew what he signed up for.”

Trump spent the ensuing days battling back against this story, and rallying his base against the “fake news media,” despite a litany of reports from parents of fallen soldiers going on the record to say that he never called them, in addition to a story from Chris Baldridge—the father of fallen Army Sgt. Dillon Baldridge—saying that Trump had offered him $25,000 but never sent the check (the White House claimed that the check was already in the mail, despite a White House official telling CNN that the check was sent the day the story became unearthed).

Donald Trump has no concept of integrity or valor, and is unfit to oversee young men and women who willingly walk towards the danger that Trump has been running away from his entire life. Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson, went on Good Morning America and confirmed what Frederica Wilson told reporters.

Because Trump is an overgrown child who would rather spend his days binging on cable news reruns than being the leader of the free world, of course he fired back shortly after the interview—calling a grieving military widow a liar without doing so overtly.

Trump is trying to implement a North Korean-style propaganda system, where everything bad that you see is fake, and the only news that we can trust comes from Dear Leader. If it sounds hyperbolic, get your head out of the sand, because this is the main reason why Trump is waging a war on the media. He’s spent his entire life controlling his own press on page six, and now that he’s in a real journalistic environment, he cannot manipulate the media the way he has before, and now he doesn’t know what to do other than scream “fake news!” at every single unflattering report. What’s truly depressing is that it’s working on a significant part of the population.

If anything good comes from this heartbreaking saga, let’s hope that the juxtaposition between an impulsive draft dodger and a grieving Gold Star widow brings a big chunk of America back to its senses. If we do side with our petulant commander-in-tweet over the soldiers we claim to revere so much, then we’re fake patriots and we don’t deserve the sacrifice made by people like Myeshia and Sgt. La David Johnson, and we’re far, far closer to being North Korean-level brainwashed than we think.

Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.

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