Abbreviated pundit roundup: Attacking a Gold Star widow, tax reform lies and more

We begin today’s roundup with the continued attacks on Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sergeant La David Johnson. First up, Amy Davidson Sorkin at The New Yorker:

There were two moments during her interview on “Good Morning America” when the expression of the face of Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sergeant La David Johnson, was transformed by a sudden smile. One came when George Stephanopoulos asked if it was true that she and La David—who was twenty-five when he died, three weeks ago, in Niger—had met when they were just six years old. “Yes, sir,” Johnson said. The other was when he mentioned that she was expecting her third child, a daughter, in January. Her oldest child is six now. Those are circumstances that could overwhelm anyone. But Johnson, throughout the six-and-a-half-minute interview, was steady, calm, and focussed on two goals: asking for answers about how her husband had

and standing up to President Donald Trump, who, she said, when he called her, “couldn’t remember my husband’s name.” […]

“He told me he had my husband’s report in front of him, and that’s when he actually said ‘La David,’ ” Johnson said. “I heard him stumbling on, trying to remember my husband’s name, and that’s what hurt the most, because, if my husband is out there fighting for our country, why can’t you remember his name?”

The New York Times calls on John Kelly to apologize for his baseless claims about Representative Frederica Wilson:

Maybe he simply misremembered what happened that day; we all make mistakes. But a video of the event subsequently showed that Ms. Wilson had made none of the string of boasts that Mr. Kelly put in her mouth.

Did Mr. Kelly quickly acknowledge his errors? No. Instead, in the days since, he and the White House have added to his mistakes by refusing to correct them. All evidence to the contrary, they have continued to insist on Mr. Kelly’s false version, compounding the grief of the Johnson family, who laid Sergeant Johnson to rest on Saturday.

On Thursday, Mr. Kelly said that he was speaking up to defend “this maybe last thing that’s held sacred in our society” — the sacrifice of an American soldier’s life on the battlefield. This nation is in crying need of a demonstration of virtue in public life, and Mr. Kelly seemed until now like a man for the job. But he is not honoring Sergeant Johnson’s sacrifice by insisting on falsehoods and stretching out this sordid spectacle.


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