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Joy Reid warns Trump and Kelly: Rep. Wilson is the wrong woman of color to make your new scapegoat

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- Commentary

MSNBC’s Joy Reid spoke out to defend Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) from the political attacks launched against her by President Donald Trump and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, saying, “Frederica Wilson is no liar” in an op-ed column for The Daily Beast.

“The Florida congresswoman is the latest — and pointedly, the latest woman and person of color — to be attacked by Trump for daring to tell the truth about him,” wrote Reid.

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And while the president’s attacks on Americans have been multitudinous, she noted, Trump “typically reserves his greatest vitriol for those who aren’t white and male. We’re all still waiting for the president’s sure-to-be-blistering response to Eminem.”

Reid said that when Wilson spoke out to decry the president’s handling of a call to the grieving widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, who died in Niger, she was speaking out as a congresswoman but also as a longtime friend of Johnson’s family. The sergeant enlisted after graduating from a mentoring program created by Wilson to help at-risk youth. She was the principal of the elementary school attended by Johnson’s father.

“Wilson first gave her account to local reporters in Miami who met the limousine carrying her, Myeshia Johnson and Staff Sgt. Johnson’s adoptive parents to the funeral home to claim the body of the fallen soldier,” she wrote. “Apparently, the White House had alerted the media that he would call Johnson’s widow, evidently hoping to reap some rare good press for the most hated president in modern U.S. history.”

Trump’s accusations that Wilson eavesdropped on the call are entirely spurious, said Reid, given that an Army representative put the call on speaker.

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“By now, Trump’s lack of human empathy is no longer news,” said Reid, particularly with regard to people of color. To say, “Donald J. Trump does not care about black people” would be an understatement, she said.

Kelly, too, accused Rep. Wilson of spying on the call — which Kelly himself monitored.

“The irony,” said Reid, “is rich beyond words.”

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She chastised Kelly for making political hay of the combat death of his son to attack Wilson and scorned Trump for placing the general in that position.

“As to why Wilson was in that car, listening to that call, the answer is simple: because Myeshia Johnson and her family wanted her there,” said Reid.

She concluded, “One can only hope and pray that this grieving family, and the families of the three other brave men who died in Niger, will find some measure of peace, and that the collective empathy of a grateful nation can in some way substitute for the cold comfort offered to Mrs. Johnson and her family by the president of the United States.”

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