Newswire : CBC women demand apology from Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly

By Hazel Trice Edney

Congresswoman Fredrika Wilson (D-FL) side by side with U. S. Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson

( – The women of the Congressional Black Caucus are demanding an apology from White House Chief of Staff John Kelly for his giving the public a false account of a speech given by Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and for calling her an “empty barrel”.
Kelly verbally attacked Wilson in defense of President Donald Trump after Wilson accused him of disrespecting the widow of a serviceman killed in a fierce battle in Niger Oct. 4. The body of U. S. Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson, the only African-American of four soldiers apparently killed during an Isis attack, was brought home to his widow Myeshia Johnson of Florida. He lay in a flag-draped coffin at Dover Airforce Base in Delaware.
Trump called Mrs. Johnson as she rode with her family and Congresswoman Wilson, a long-time family friend, to the airport last week. Among other words of condolences, Trump said, “He knew what he was getting into, but it hurts anyway,” according to Wilson, who listened to the President’s call on speakerphone at Mrs. Johnson’s request. Mrs. Johnson has now publically confirmed Trump’s words as recounted by Wilson. She said his tone made her cry.
“He couldn’t remember my husband’s name,” said Mrs. Johnson. “The only way he remembered my husband’s name is because he told me he had my husband’s report in front of him and that’s when he actually said ‘La David,’” she said in an interview on Good Morning America. “I heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband’s name. And that’s what hurt me the most because if my husband is out here fighting for our country, and he risked his life for our country, why can’t you remember his name?”
Trump, in a tweet, had denied even using the words, “He knew what he was getting into.” Yet his Chief of Staff John Kelly recounted those exact words as did Mrs. Johnson and Wilson. Kelly said he is the one who advised Trump to use those words, based on words spoken to him as the father of a son killed in combat.
Yet both Kelly and Trump have attacked Wilson; the President calling her “wacky”. Kelly falsely stated that Wilson had bragged about raising money for a new FBI headquarters in an April 15, 2015 speech. A video tape of the speech actually showed her talking about successfully helping to name the headquarters – nothing about fundraising. She was not a member of Congress when the building was funded, she stressed last week.
“Today, the women of the Congressional Black Caucus issued the following statement in response to the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s release of a video of Congresswoman Frederica Wilson’s (D-FL) 2015 speech at the dedication of a new Miramar, Florida FBI Building,” said a statement from the women of the CBC. “The video confirms that Wilson’s account of the speech is true and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s account of the speech is false.”
The statement continues, “The women of the Congressional Black Caucus stand in strong support of our colleague, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. Congresswoman Wilson is a woman of impeccable integrity and a dedicated public servant. She is a highly respected Member of Congress who has demonstrated extremely competent leadership on a number of important issues, and we are especially proud of her fearless and uncompromising leadership to fight for the release of nearly 300 Nigerian school girls who were kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram.”
As the back and forth raged in the media, the body of Sgt. Johnson was laid to rest Oct. 21. His widow is left to raise two small children and she is pregnant with a third baby.
Few details are available about the attack that killed Sgt. Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright in a part of Niger where they apparently thought she would encounter no enemy fire. News that Johnson’s body was found a mile from the site of the attack after he was missing 48 hours after the others were found added even more mystery to the situation. The Pentagon is investigating.
Meanwhile, the women of the CBC remain outraged that the character of their colleague came under attack as she stood for her constituent. Kelly has stood by his false statements.
We were appalled by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s statements where he called Congresswoman Wilson an ‘empty barrel’ and accused her of taking credit for securing funding for a new FBI Building in Miramar, Florida that was named after two fallen FBI agents, Benjamin Grogan and Jerry Dove. A video of Congresswoman Wilson’s comments on that day has been released, and it provides indisputable proof that she never made any of the statements of which General Kelly falsely accused her,” the release said.
“General Kelly’s comments are reprehensible. Congresswoman Wilson’s integrity and credibility should not be challenged or undermined by such blatant lies. We, the women of the Congressional Black Caucus, proudly stand with Congresswoman Wilson and demand that General Kelly apologize to her without delay and take responsibility for his reckless and false statements.”

Have we forgotten the kidnapped school girls in Nigeria

By D. Kevin McNeir (From The Washington
Informer, NNPA Member)


Nigerian girls
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL) speaks out on Nigerian girls

It’s been two years, April 14th to be exact, since the world witnessed the abduction of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls from their dormitory rooms at the hands of Boko Haram – a West African terrorist group that has lodged atrocities against its own people including the burning of children alive and sending teenaged girls on suicide bomb missions. But one member of Congress, a former principal and mother now in her third term in office, said she refuses to rest until the remaining 219 girls still missing have been safely returned to their families.
On Thursday, April 14, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) sponsored a press conference and panel discussion in the Cannon House Office Building in Southeast that included experts and advocates who offered their perspectives and solutions for addressing the ongoing crisis in the region. Several girls who escaped their abductors and now live in the U.S. also shared comments and expressed their thanks.
Wilson has visited Nigeria several times along with other members of Congress where they’ve met with some of the victims and their parents. She remains a staunch supporter of the Bring Back Our Girls movement.“I was shocked and deeply saddened when I first learned that Boko Haram had abducted the Chibok girls to punish them for seeking to learn and better their lives,” she said. “My concern began with the girls but has since expanded because of the near-daily atrocities that Boko Haram commits, which has escalated since the girls were kidnapped. They’re trafficking girls and women as sex slaves and slaughtering boys.”
“They have no conscience and they must be stopped. Even though Boko Haram has been ranked as the world’s deadliest terrorist group, it’s actually a group of cowards, which is why they send girls out, some as young as seven, to do their dirty work.”
Panelist participants included: John Yearwood, moderator and executive board chairman, International Press Institute; Malcolm Nance, executive director, The Terror Asymmetrics Project on Strategy, Tactics and Radical Ideology; Jana Mason, senior advisor for government relations, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Tunde Odunlade, a Nigerian artist and activist; Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, senior fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Emmanuel Ogebe, international director, Education Must Continue Initiative; and Ernst Jan Hogendoorn, Africa deputy program director, International Crisis Group. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, assistant secretary of state for African affairs, also gave an update on actions initiated by the U.S. government.
Wilson said building support among her colleagues has sometimes been a challenge. “Several congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers have introduced legislation and support my efforts like Wear Something Red Wednesday, the daily Twitter campaign and events like the forum and press conference that I recently hosted. But we’ve got to hold Nigeria’s government more accountable, keep the pressure on those lawmakers and let them know that if they don’t increase their efforts to find the girls and defeat Boko Haram, that they can be voted out of office.”
Ogebe said U.S. officials and leaders from other countries initially failed to take Boko Haram seriously. “World leaders allowed Boko Haram to spread like a cancer. What’s needed is greater intelligence on the ground and the assistance of the U.S. with technology that can pinpoint where the terrorists are hiding. What’s happening in Nigeria should be deemed as an act of genocide,” he said.
Hogendoorn believes the U.S. could do more but that Nigerian officials must take the lead. “Ultimately it’s a Nigerian problem — they’re a country that remains in crisis,” he said. “Their military, police and elected officials are all going through major reform and that process cannot be forced.”
Odunlade said he won’t give up, even though Boko Haram continues to grow more powerful and dangerous. “These terrorists have to be fought on all fronts,” he said. “I just hope that Nigeria’s neighboring countries will provide more assistance. And the country’s youth must be supported. They’re talented and many are hungry for more education. They could be the real answer to the problem of terrorism.”
Thomas-Greenfield said she remains optimistic but noted that defeating groups like Boko Haram requires long term determination. “The truth is Boko Haram only represents a minority of people among Muslims and Africans,” she said. “Many of the foot soldiers in their organization are young boys and girls who have been forced to participate. Those who want to leave must be supported and not ostracized. Nigeria also has to be willing to use more of its assets. They have had recent success fighting Boko Haram with the help of countries like Cameroon and that’s encouraging. Ultimately, the U.S. needs Congress to vote to give more financial assistance and America needs other countries to commit themselves to this fight.”
“The bottom line – if I weren’t optimistic I would have given up long ago. We’re making progress but it’s going to be a long process. The question is whether world leaders, along with Nigeria, are willing to take on this fight for the long haul. That’s what it’s going to take,” she added.
On Wednesday, April 20, Wilson led a candlelight vigil in front of the U.S. State Department in an effort to keep the world focused on the plight of the still missing girls. Last week, CNN released a “proof of life” video, obtained from a source “close to the negotiations,” in which several of the missing girls appeared to be in good health but anxious to return home. “We’re fighting to keep this in the news and keep it in the hearts and minds of people so it won’t fade away because we’ve got to bring those girls back,” Wilson said.
Since the distribution of this article, the Nigerian government has found two of the kidnapped girls from Chibok in the Cameroons and returned them to their families.