Death Threats Are Reportedly Keeping Rep. Frederica Wilson From D.C. & That's Not OK


When Army Sgt. La David Johnson was killed in combat in Niger, his widow, Myeshia Johnson, received a condolence call from President Trump. She was in the car with Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson when she got the call, as reported by Time. Both women have said the president told Johnson while on speakerphone that her husband "knew what he signed up for," and claimed that Trump didn't mention Sgt. Johnson by name. Wilson criticized Trump's handling of the call, after which Trump accused her of lying about what she heard. Now, Rep. Wilson is reportedly receiving death threats that are preventing her from being in Washington, D.C., according to The Miami Herald.

Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairman Cedric L. Richmond tells Bustle in a statement that the CBC is "very concerned" about Wilson's safety. "In the context of the Republican baseball practice shooting in June, the Las Vegas concert shooting this month, and increasing threats against members of the Congressional Black Caucus, it is unfortunate that the President, and most recently his Chief of Staff, have contributed to this climate by saying things that are demonstrably not true," Richmond says.

Last week, the CBC issued a statement of support for Wilson, and two days later, the woman of the CBC called on White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to apologize after he accused Wilson of "eavesdropping" on the call. Kelly also referred to Wilson as an "empty barrel," and suggested that she had falsely claimed to be "instrumental" in obtaining funding for the FBI field office in Miami. Consequently, many of Wilson's fellow Democrats have been outspoken in their support:

Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore wrote a Twitter thread in solidarity with her colleague. "But such vitriol is indicative of a broader trend of degradation against women of color who question/critique Donald Trump's White House," Moore tweeted. "Women of color who speak out against Donald Trump are routinely subjected to ridicule. Their appearances mocked [and] characters questioned."

The Miami Herald noted that Wilson missed 19 votes in the House between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25. According to Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Democrat from Fort Lauderdale, the only explanation for Wilson's absence is that "she's home" for her own safety, but she expects that Wilson will be back in Washington next week.

“I have not spoken with her about it," Hastings told The Miami Herald, "but I’ve heard that she’s received substantial death threats and I think she is doing everything she can to ratchet down and let some of us, including me, take over.”

Police in Illinois are currently investigating one of these threats, which appears to have come from a man in Des Plaines. A Facebook post containing what is allegedly his profile information — though he told Chicago Inc. that he did not write it — called for Wilson to be lynched. The FBI has also launched an investigation into this Facebook post, according to Newsweek.

Since last week, Trump has tweeted multiple times to accuse Wilson of fabricating the content of his conversation with Myeshia Johnson. However, the White House has since inadvertently confirmed Johnson and Wilson's account of their exchange. Kelly, whose son was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, told The Independent that he coached Trump on what to say to Johnson.

"He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed," is what Trump meant, Kelly told The Independent. "He knew he was getting into by joining that one percent. He knew what the possibilities were because were at war when he died he was surrounded by the best men on this Earth, his friends."

However, Trump has maintained that he was "extremely nice" to Johnson, and has not commented on the death threats that Wilson has received.