Trump defends interactions with families of fallen

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President Donald Trump pushed back Wednesday against claims he was disrespectful during a condolence call to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed in Niger.

Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida said she overheard part of the call and claimed the president drove Johnson's widow to tears. She said she heard Trump say: "[Johnson] knew what he was signing up for but it still hurts."

"Didn't say what that congresswoman said," the president shot back. "Didn't say it at all and she knows it."

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told White House reporters that Chief of Staff John Kelly, a former Marine general, was present for the president's call and that he thought it was "completely appropriate."

"[Kelly] thought the call was respectful and he thought the president did the best job he could, under those circumstances, to offer condolences on behalf of the country," Sanders said.

The soldier's mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, told the AP that Representative Wilson's account was correct. 

While the president is trying to push forward his agenda, the controversy surrounding his treatment of gold star families is growing.

Sgt. Dillon Baldridge was killed in Afghanistan in June. The Washington Post reported the president promised Baldridge's father $25,000 and the creation of an online fundraiser. Neither happened.

A White House spokesperson responded to the Post story by saying that "the check has been sent."