I guess we have an answer to the exit question in this post about which major player would be the next to needlessly extend this horrible news story. If you had “Frederica Wilson alleging white supremacism” in the pool, collect your winnings.
“The White House itself is full of white supremacists,” she said…
“They are making themselves look like fools. They have no credibility,” she said. “They are trying to assassinate my character, and they are assassinating their own because everything they say is coming out and shown to be a lie.”…
Stacey Plaskett, a Democrat and the Virgin Islands’ delegate to Congress, said she was especially offended that Mr. Trump did not seem to know Sergeant [La David] Johnson’s name [during the condolence call to his family].
“He continually called that fallen soldier ‘your guy’ to his wife. That was his wife,” she said. “It was almost as if he doesn’t believe that we have husbands and wives as black people. And that I find very disturbing, that he would not give her the respect of calling that soldier her husband.”
Wilson mentioned that too in her complaints about Trump’s phone call, that Myeshia Johnson was offended that Trump never said her husband’s name as it made her suspect he had never bothered to learn it. Now here’s Plaskett doubling down and accusing Trump of assuming that parents of black children are unmarried. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that everyone involved here, from Wilson to Plaskett to the Johnsons themselves, weren’t Trump fans who might be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt in the first place.
Trump naturally thinks the week has been a smashing success:
“He loved Kelly’s performance yesterday, and considers the issue won,” a White House official told The Daily Beast on Friday…
“Of course not,” one senior Trump aide simply replied when asked if President Trump had shown any sign of regret over the week’s events. The aide added that Trump himself has said he does not believe he had done anything wrong while noting that Kelly was looking more and more “dispirited” as the week went on.
The racism charge against Kelly was designed to undermine his moral authority, but now that Wilson and other Dems keep hammering at it, it’s just going to polarize the dispute along standard partisan lines, assuming it wasn’t already. In that sense it is a “win” for Trump. He botched his initial response as to why he hadn’t called the families of the troops killed in Niger, then made it worse by dragging poor John Kelly into it, then had it turn worse still when the story broke about him “forgetting” to make good on $25,000 he promised to a Gold Star dad — and yet the week ends with Wilson throwing around a specious charge that “empty barrel” is a racist crack. That’s as good an outcome as the White House could have hoped for.
We need something to lift our spirits after this dismal spectacle, and there’s nothing better for that than a Megyn Kelly dance party. Exit question via Rich Lowry: Why couldn’t Trump have just apologized for any unintended miscommunication with Sgt. Johnson’s widow during the condolence call and left it at that?
— Kate Aurthur (@KateAurthur) October 19, 2017