Jack Crowe, DCNF
White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly described a speech ostensibly given by Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida during a FBI building dedication ceremony, in which she followed up FBI agents’ accounts of heroism by slain officers with a description of her role in securing funding for the building’s construction.
“In October, April rather, of 2015 I was still on active duty. I went to the dedication of the new FBI field office in Miami and it was dedicated to two men who were killed in a firefight in Miami against drug traffickers in 1986,” Kelly said.
“Three of the men that survived the firefight were there and gave renditions of how brave those men were and how they gave their lives. The congresswoman stood up, and in the long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there in all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building,” Kelly said. “We were stunned, stunned that she had done it, even for someone that is that empty of a barrel, we were stunned.”
While Kelly did not explicitly name Wilson, she was responsible for spearheading the legislative effort to name the FBI field office after the two slain agents. She was also the only congresswoman listed on the FBI press release advertising the event.
Wilson’s office told The Daily Caller News Foundation she “stands by” her Wednesday night statement, in which she reiterated her original account of Trump’s phone call.
“The congresswoman has decided to not make any further comment on this issue,” Wilson’s office told TheDCNF in a statement. “The focus needs to be on helping a grieving widow and family heal, and should not be on her or Donald Trump. She has nothing else to add but stands by the statement issued last night.”
Wilson incited controversy Wednesday when she accused President Donald Trump of disrespecting the widow of a soldier who was recently killed in Niger by saying that her husband “knew what he was getting into.”
Kelly issued the harsh rebuke against Wilson after describing how he was “stunned” and “heartbroken” that she had listened in on a call between Trump and the widow of a slain serviceman and then publicized its contents.
Trump denied having made the comment in a tweet and a Wednesday statement at the White House.
“I didn’t say what that congresswoman said. Didn’t say it at all,” Trump told reporters during a meeting on tax reform in the Cabinet Room. “She knows it. And she now is not saying it. I did not say what she said.”
Wilson responded moments after Kelly’s appearance at the press briefing concluded.
“John Kelly’s trying to keep his job,” Wilson told Politico Thursday. “He will say anything. There were other people who heard what I heard.”
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