Trump’s April Condolence Call Reported as “Understanding the Magnitude of Her Loss”


by Sharon Rondeau

(Oct. 23, 2017) — On Friday, Hartford, CT-based Fox 61 reported, in the wake of controversy about a condolence call made to Gold Star widow Myeshia Johnson last week by President Donald Trump, that another Florida widow earlier this year related a completely different experience under the same circumstances.

Fox 61, which tends to lean left politically in this writer’s opinion from having watched nearly nightly broadcasts for a number of years, reported that Florida resident Natasha De Alencar said that Trump indicated an understanding of her pain when he called her to express his condolences.

De Alencar’s husband, Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, was killed on April 8 in Afghanistan.  He was 37.

The Fox 61 story, obtained from left-leaning CNN Wire, reported:

De Alencar said Trump had researched her husband and talked to his friends as well, and was familiar with the awards he had received.

She described herself as a Democrat who does not “do politics.” As a father himself, she said, Trump appeared to understand the magnitude of her loss, and talked about her children, especially her oldest son, Deshaun, who plays college football at Missouri Valley College in Marshall.

The “CNN Wire” link leads to a page containing the headlines of a variety of local and national news headlines.

An internet search for “Trump condolence call Fox 61” yields results only for the dramatic developments in a war of words among Florida’s District 24 Rep. Frederica Wilson, Trump, and his chief of staff, Gen. John F. Kelly (Ret), who on Thursday addressed reporters from the podium of the White House press secretary to inform them of the process by which military families are told that their loved one has been killed while serving.

Without naming Wilson, Kelly said that a particular female member of Congress had taken credit for securing funding for the construction of a new FBI building in Miramar, FL in 2015 and that he found her public self-accolades “stunning” at the dedication ceremony which memorialized two FBI agents killed during an altercation in 1986.

While Kelly was mistaken in his recollection that Wilson had bragged about securing the funding for the new FBI headquarters, Wilson did credit herself with having rushed a bill to name the building after the two slain agents through first the House, then the U.S. Senate, in just over four weeks’ time.

The congressional record shows that Wilson introduced the bill in the House on February 25, 2015 and that Barack Obama signed it into law on April 7 of that year, four days before the dedication ceremony.

As The Post & Email exclusively reported, on October 18, Wilson made remarks on the House floor entered into the official Congressional Record in which she said that her “heart is broken” over Sgt. La David Johnson’s death “but it is also bursting with pride for all that he achieved and would have accomplished. During the few years in which he bravely served our Nation, he received several awards and accolades, including the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and, ironically, the Global War on Terrorism Medal.”

Wilson had sharply criticized Trump for allegedly having said to Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson, that her husband “knew what he was getting into” in an insensitive manner.

Trump disputed that claim, stating that Wilson “totally fabricated” what he said to Johnson’s widow.

Myeshia Johnson’s interview on “Good Morning America” on Monday morning trended on Twitter throughout the day, with most of those who weighed in sympathetic to her position and denigrating of Trump.  Left-leaning journalists joined in the conversation supportive of Johnson’s account as a Gold Star widow, contending that her word should not be questioned.

Later in the day, a few expressed the opinion that Mrs. Johnson was “coached” as to her remarks.  Six months’ pregnant and with two young children at home, Mrs. Johnson presumably traveled to New York to appear on the show.

The Fox 61 article, dated October 20, is titled, “A Gold Star widow says President Trump understood her loss” and was published two days after the media maelstrom arose from Wilson’s public denunciation of Trump’s call to Mrs. Johnson as they traveled to the airport to receive her late husband’s casket.

The article related De Alencar’s narrative as:

“Natasha,” Trump said in the call filmed by her children and the video provided to CNN on Thursday night by De Alencar.

“I’m so sorry to hear about the whole situation. What a horrible thing, except that he’s an unbelievable hero and you know all the people that served with him are saying how incredible he was and just an amazing, an amazing guy,” Trump said.

De Alencar said Trump had researched her husband and talked to his friends as well, and was familiar with the awards he had received.

She also reported that Trump invited her to visit him “in the Oval Office” if she happened to be in Washington.

On Monday morning, Mrs. Johnson told GMA host George Stephanopoulos of Trump, “He couldn’t remember my husband’s name.  That’s what hurt me the most.”  At the same time, Johnson said that Trump told her he “had my husband’s report in front of him. And that’s when he actually said ‘La David.'”

During the interview, Mrs. Johnson said that the Army has not provided specifics as to how her husband died and claimed she was not permitted to view his body.

“I need to see my husband,” she said. “I haven’t seen him since he came home.” The funeral was held on Saturday.

At 3:10, Stephanopoulos changed the subject to the phone call with Trump, at which point Mrs. Johnson seemed distracted by something to her left, the only time in the interview she was not looking straight ahead toward the host.

“I heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband name,” [sic] she said.

Mrs. Johnson appeared to stress that Trump did not refer to her husband as a “hero” but said she would describe her late husband as such to her currently-unborn child after the birth.

She said that Wilson and her family have been close for many years.  “My uncle-in-law as Ms. Wilson’s elementary school principal, and my husband was in her 5,000 Role Model Program.  That’s why she’s well-connected with us,” she told Stephanopoulos.

“Whatever Ms. Wilson said was not fabricated,” she added.  “The phone was on speaker-phone,” she emphasized.  Why would we fabricate something like that?”

When asked, Mrs. Johnson said of Trump, “I don’t have nothin’ to say to him.”

Also on Monday morning, Trump tweeted his disagreement with Mrs. Johnson’s claim.

As the controversy heated up last Wednesday, CNN provided an interview with Gold Star father Craig Gross in which he said that Trump’s words were “being taken and misconstrued.”

At 4:03 p.m. EDT, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford began a press conference about the loss of the four servicemen, including Sgt. Johnson, who were stationed in Niger when they came under attack on October 4.  During the presser, Dunford appeared eager to assure the families who lost loved ones that they will share information about the ambush as it is gathered.

In response to a question from a member of the press as to Mrs. Johnson’s claim that she was not permitted to view her husband’s body, Dunford said that the military customarily recommends against a viewing under certain circumstances.  He indicated that he was aware of Mrs. Johnson’s claims made on GMA.



One Response to "Trump’s April Condolence Call Reported as “Understanding the Magnitude of Her Loss”"

  1. jeffrey Harrison   Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 8:01 PM

    I give Trump great praise for attempting phone calls to the loved ones who have had a
    family member that had fallen in battle. Being the Commander and Chief and ordering
    military members into battle is a tough and troubling act. Likewise, making calls to these
    family members is tough too.

    Is there a truly right and correct way in making these kinds of calls? Can certain words or
    phases be taken out of context or misunderstood in moments of grief?

    Trump has shown in making these calls, he is a decent man and is indeed a president we
    need in this time in our history.

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