Trump sparks backlash with message to soldier's widow

President Trump told the widow in a phone call, "'Well, I guess he knew what he signed up for. But I guess it still hurt ...," according to a Florida congresswoman who said she listened to the phone call on speakerphone.
2:50 | 10/18/17

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Transcript for Trump sparks backlash with message to soldier's widow
I don't think he's shaved since he was off the air. Some proposing a bipartisan deal to restore funding for Obamacare. The president sending mixed messages as he faces questions about the phone call he made to a widow of a fallen soldier. Cecilia Vega starts us off. Reporter: He said it's the hardest thing he has to do as commander in chief but now it's this phone call to this widow that you just mentioned that has him facing criticism this morning. President trump made good on his promise to call the grieving families of those four special ops soldiers killed during a siege in Niger but this morning his message to one grieving widow is sparking backlash. President trump told the wife of army sergeant la David Johnson, quote, he knew what he signed up for, but when it happens, it hurts anyway. That's according to Florida democratic congresswoman Frederica Wilson who says she listened to the call on speakerphone. This is a soldier who gave his life for his country. He is a hero. Reporter: The call came just as myeshia Johnson was on her way to the airport for the arrival of her husband's remains. Pregnant with their third child, Johnson laid her head on his flag-draped casket and gave a final kiss. It just hurts me to know he's not going to be with us. Reporter: Overnight the white house declined to address the details of the phone calls with the families instead saying in a statement the president's conversations with the families of American heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice are private. It comes on the heels of the president's false claims that other presidents including president Obama did not personally call the grieving families of fallen soldiers. The traditional way of 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. Reporter: And Tuesday in the white house, president trump blamed president Obama once again implying Obama did not call his chief of staff John Kelly in 2010 when Kelly's son was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan. I mean, you could ask general Kelly, did he get a call from Obama? You could ask other people. Reporter: Now, general Kelly has made it repeatedly clear to reporters this is something he does not want to talk about. The death of his son. Understandably so. The white house says that he never got a call from president Obama in the wake of his son's death and while Obama aides do not dispute that, they do, George, tell us general Kelly was invited and did attend a breakfast here at E white house for gold star families where he sat at the first lady's table. But that was six months after the death of his son, George. As you said, general Kelly himself prefers this all remain private. Cecilia, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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