President Trump took fresh aim Saturday at Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.), claiming on Twitter that the “wacky” congresswoman who criticized Trump over a military condolence call was “killing the Democrat Party!”
The president’s morning tweet extended a nearly week-long controversy over Trump’s handling of the deaths of four service members in an ambush in Niger and was the latest volley in a White House effort to discredit Wilson, a friend of the family of one of the fallen soldiers.
“I hope the Fake News Media keeps talking about Wacky Congresswoman Wilson in that she, as a representative, is killing the Democrat Party!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
I hope the Fake News Media keeps talking about Wacky Congresswoman Wilson in that she, as a representative, is killing the Democrat Party!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2017
In a separate tweet Saturday morning, Trump complained that the mainstream media had not done enough to cover the passage of a budget by the U.S. Senate, a move that will make it possible for a tax-cut package to be approved without Democratic support.
Trump’s attack on Wilson came a day after a video emerged showing that White House chief of staff John F. Kelley had made false claims about her.
Kelly was highly critical of Wilson for listening in on Trump’s call to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson and also for her role in a 2015 dedication ceremony for a federal building that was named for two slain FBI agents.
Speaking to reporters Thursday in the White House briefing room, Kelly said he had been “stunned” to hear Wilson claim credit at the ceremony for securing the funding for the building.
A video of her speech at the ceremony showed Wilson did not take credit for securing the money. She instead spent about two minutes of a nine-minute speech recalling the effort that she led in Congress to name the building for the agents, whom she praised effusively in her remarks.
On Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stood by Kelly’s comments and cautioned a reporter that it would be “highly inappropriate” to get into a debate with “a four-star Marine general” over whether he misstated facts.
During a series of interviews Friday, Wilson accused Kelly of lying about her.
“He can’t just go on TV and lie on me,” she said on CNN. “I was not even in Congress in 2009 when the money for the building was secured.”
In an interview with Fox Business Network taped Friday, Trump accused Wilson of debasing Kelly by suggesting that the chief of staff had defended the president at Trump’s insistence, in order to keep his job.
“When she made that statement, I thought it was sickening, actually,” Trump said. He added that Kelly is “doing an incredible job” and said the general, who had listened in on his call with Johnson, was “offended” that Wilson would make it public.