Florida Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson said she felt like a “rock star” for all the attention she’s gotten over criticizing President Trump for allegedly disrespecting a Gold Star family this week, then slamming Gen. John Kelly, himself a Gold Star father, for defending the president.
Kelly, who lost his own Marine son in 2010, fired back at the congresswoman Thursday for politicizing the president's attempt to console and honor the slain soldier's wife during a phone call earlier this week, saying he was “stunned” that a member of Congress would use such a sacred moment as a political football.
“I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning and brokenhearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing,” a clearly emotional Kelly told reporters. “A member of Congress who listened in on a phone call from the president of the United States to a young wife — and in his way tried to express that opinion that he’s a brave man, a fallen hero.”
“[Johnson] knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted,” Kelly continued. “There’s no reason to enlist. He enlisted, and he was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken. That was the message.”
Kelly went on to praise fallen U.S. soldiers in a short but heartfelt and emotional speech that left the often-raucous White House briefing room completely silent.
In response to Kelly's remarks, Wilson tactlessly accused the Chief of Staff of pandering to "keep his job."
“John Kelly’s trying to keep his job,” Wilson told POLITICO on Thursday. “He will say anything. There were other people who heard what I heard.”
When later asked by yet another reporter to respond to the White House’s criticisms over her response to Kelly, Wilson laughingly joked that the whole situation was “phenomenal,” saying it had turned her into a “rock star.”
“You mean to tell me that I have become so important, that the White House is following me and my words? That is amazing!” Wilson told a reporter Thursday in response to Kelly’s words.
“That is absolutely phenomenal. I will have to tell my kids that I’m a rock star now!” she added, laughing.
Frederica Wilson's reaction to John Kelly’s briefing, “I’m a rock star now”. What a disgrace. pic.twitter.com/eIueGDSopw— Nick Short 🇺🇸 (@PoliticalShort) October 20, 2017