18/10/2017 12:08 BST | Updated 18/10/2017 13:20 BST

Donald Trump Blasted After 'Sarcastically' Telling Army Widow 'He Knew What He Signed Up For'

'He does not possess the grace to be President.

A US Congresswoman has claimed Donald Trump told the widow of a soldier killed during an ambush in Niger earlier this month that he “must’ve known what he signed up for”.

Frederica Wilson was in the car with Myeshia Johnson when the President called to offer his condolences over the death of Army Sergeant La David Johnson.

“Sarcastically he said: ‘But you know he must have known what he signed up for,’” Wilson recounted to NBC6.

“How could you say that to a grieving widow? I couldn’t believe... and he said it more than once. I said this man has no feelings for anyone. This is a young woman with child who is grieved to her soul.”

The Democrat doubled-down on her remarks later on.

The President responded to the allegations upon waking on Wednesday morning.

Shortly after CNN’s Noah Gray tweeted: 

Trump is already embroiled in controversy over the deaths of Johnson and four US Green Berets.

The President has made no public statement on the deaths and was questioned about it during a press conference on Monday.

Trump told reporters he planned to call the parents and families of those who were killed. Turning the focus back to himself, he went on:

“The toughest calls I have to make are the calls where this happens - soldiers are killed.

“It’s a very difficult thing. Now it gets to a point where you make four or five of them in one day, it’s a very, very tough day. For me that’s by far the toughest,” he said.

“So the traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them, didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls, I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it.”

The claim was called out as demonstrably false with one former aide of Barack Obama saying: 

Later in the the news conference, Trump was pressed on his claim.

Trump modified his position - slightly - and claimed that he was “told” Obama didn’t often call the families of fallen soldiers. Trump said:

“And a lot of presidents don’t, they write letters... I do a combination of both. Sometimes, it’s a very difficult thing to do, but I do a combination of both. President Obama, I think, probably did sometimes, and maybe sometimes he didn’t, I don’t know, that’s what I was told.”

But Trump would not let it lie, claiming again with zero evidence that other presidents did not call. “And some presidents didn’t do anything,” he said. “I like, when I can, the combination of a call and also a letter.”