White House Chief of Staff John Kelly accused Florida Representative Frederica Wilson, a Democrat, of grandstanding at a 2015 memorial and naming ceremony. The White House backed him up, and then doubled down, even after reporters asked him and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders about a video that the Florida Sun-Sentinel uncovered that seems to exonerate Rep. Wilson’s account completely.
Calling Rep. Wilson an “empty barrel,” Kelly out of the blue brought up a story from two years ago as a way to explain just how dramatic Rep. Wilson was being.
Kelly said Rep. Wilson “grandstanded” at a 2015 naming ceremony for a new FBI building, and took credit for securing the funding needed to build the structure from former President Barack Obama.
“In a long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise … [Rep. Wilson] stood up there in all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call, he gave the money, the $20 million, to build the building.”
According to Sanders, Kelly was “stunned” that Rep. Wilson could talk about her “lobbying” the former president and said she was grandstanding. He continued:
“…Able to make a sacred act like honoring Americans heroes about yourself you’re an empty barrel.”
According to Business Insider, that Kelly criticized Rep. Wilson at all resulted from her “butting in” and listening in on a phone call President Donald Trump made to Myeshia Johnson. Trump called the grieving widow to offer his condolences for the death of her husband, Army Sergeant LaDavid Johnson, one of the four Green Berets killed in Niger.
At that very moment, Rep. Wilson happened to be in the car with Johnson and the family, as the two are longtime friends. Johnson turned on the speakerphone so everyone could hear the president’s call.
This led to the current feud and a two-day twitter attack on Rep. Wilson from Trump.
Huckabee-Sanders said to reporters ultimately that they and Trump back Kelly up and that arguing with a four-star general is “highly inappropriate.”
Check out the full exchange with Huckabee-Sanders here:
Featured Image: Screenshot Via YouTube Video.