Dear Mr. Murphy and Mr. Greenwald:
I am quite dismayed that the media is using Sgt La David Johnson’s death as a political pawn to discredit the President. This hero was protecting our way of life and trying to stamp out evil in this world, but let’s use his name all over the place just to discredit President Trump.
I am also disgusted by your attempt to politicize this tragedy. You will never have my vote or my support as a result. You are taking something that should be sacred and making a mockery of it.
Now I am addressing the following email that was sent to Gold Star families in New Jersey on your behalf:
First of all, Mr. Khan is not a voice for me. I cannot stand his political posturing and the way he is using his son’s death. It’s despicable. As for President Trump’s comments about Khan, what about Hillary calling Patricia Smith a liar? You cannot point a finger at one without also acknowledging the other. Both candidates said things that they should not have said about Gold Star family members. You lose all credibility when you attack one and ignore the other.
We all know Trump shoots from the hip and doesn’t check his words. Unlike Obama who had everything scripted and on a teleprompter, Trump is himself. He has no filter. He doesn’t always think before he speaks. That’s what I like about him, but also what I don’t. He really needs to learn a bit more diplomacy, but I still will not accept that, as is being reported by the media, his only words to a grief stricken widow were – he knew what he signed up for. [Side note: After Derek was injured, someone told me, “What did you expect when he joined the military?” And another one said to me, “Why did you let him join?”]
I am so sick of all of these pathetic attempts to discredit President Trump. What does any of this have to do with whether or not you would be a good governor?
President Trump did not disparage or attack Johnson’s widow. He criticized the pathetic congresswoman who lied about the call and made a mockery out of the process. Four calls were made, but only one was criticized as inappropriate? That says more about the recipient rather than the caller.
As a Gold Star Mom, what President Trump said to Widow Johnson doesn’t offend me. If someone said that to me when my son died, I would have thanked them. Honestly, if someone had simply said to me that Derek knew what he signed up for, I would have agreed with him. Derek knew. Someone dear to me and to Derek said to him before he deployed, “But, Derek, you could die!” His response was, “I know!”
Anyone who raises his/her hand and is sworn in to the military knows the worst that can happen. Their families also know the worst that can happen. We sit at home just waiting, knowing that that call or knock on the door could come at any time.
What President Trump said to LaDavid’s wife, and what he has said since does not offend me, but that congresswoman offends every sense of decency. She owes LaDavid’s widow and children, every Gold Star Family Member, as well as the entire country an apology, and now, so do you. How dare you capitalize on this tragedy!
In some interviews the Congresswoman who reported the initial comment admitted that she didn’t hear the entire conversation, so she doesn’t know whether or not he followed it up with anything else. In other interviews, she says she heard the entire conversation. Which is it? She has already contradicted herself.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said there was no recording, but that other White House officials were in the room when Trump called the widow, including White House Chief of Staff John Kelly who gave a press statement that should have cleared up the entire mess. Unfortunately, you closed minded liberals won’t hear anything that doesn’t fit with your limited world view.
Ms. Sanders statement was that “multiple people in the room believe that the President was completely respectful (and) very sympathetic.”
When my son died, I did not get a letter from Obama, I got a mass produced Certificate. When my friend’s son died, she got a personalized, hand written letter from President George W. Bush. When my friend’s son was injured, she received a personalized, hand written letter from President George W. Bush. I didn’t get a letter from Obama when Derek was injured. When her son later died, she got a mass produced Certificate from Obama, and they spelled her son’s name wrong. See the difference?
I and many others in the Gold Star Community are disgusted by your pathetic attempt to discredit our President off of our tragedies. I will remember this when I go to the polls on Election Day.
Siobhan M. Fuller-McConnell
Gold Star Mother of Sgt Derek McConnell
P.S. If I could make it down to Collingswood tomorrow, I would voice my disgust in person.