President Donald Trump has denied an account that he told a U.S. soldier's grieving widow that her husband "knew what he signed up for."
According to Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida, the president called Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson, while Myeshia was with the congresswoman traveling to see her husband's casket at the Miami International Airport, ABC News reports.
La David was killed in an ambush in Niger carried out by militants who are believed to be connected to ISIS.
"Basically, he said, 'Well, I guess he knew what he signed up for. But I guess it still hurt.' That's what he said," recalled Wilson in an interview, saying she heard the conversation in part when it was on speakerphone.
Trump insisted Wilson's account is untrue, saying she "fabricated" the story.
"Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof)," tweeted the president. "Sad!"
Trump did not clarify or elaborate on what "proof" he was referring to in his tweet.
In response to Trump's tweet, Wilson called the president a "sick man," reiterating that she stands by her account.
"I'm not trying to prove anything with the president," said Wilson. "So the president evidently is lying."
"Because what I said is true," she continued. "I have no reason to lie on the president of the United States. With a dead soldier in my community. I have no time. I have no motive."
"To me, that is something you can say in a conversation, but you shouldn't say that to a grieving widow," said Wilson of the president's alleged comments. "And everyone knows when you go to war, you could possibly not come back alive. But you don't remind a grieving widow of that. That's so insensitive."
"Now, I didn't hear the entire conversation, but when I tried to find out what the entire conversation was, she said I just can't remember everything he said," recalled Wilson. "But that stood out in everyone's [heart] on the call. You don't say that. He is the president of the United States."
"This is a soldier who gave his life for his country," added Wilson. "He is a hero in our minds, in our communities' minds, that is an insult to the entire Miami Gardens community, to our entire District 24, to Miami-Dade County, and to this nation. And I hope he did not say that to the other three families that he called."
Wilson said she was "livid" during the phone call.
"She was crying the whole time," Wilson said of Myeshia, "and when she hung up the phone she looked at me and said, 'He didn't even remember his name.'"
Wilson added that she "wasn't trying to politicize" the conversation between Myeshia and Trump, but said she thought "it was a disgrace."
While the White House declined to comment on what Trump reportedly said during the phone call, an official said, "The president's conversations with the families of American heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice are private."
This isn't the first time Trump has been accused of disrespecting a fallen soldier's family. In 2016, during the presidential campaign, Trump made comments about the parents of a fallen Muslim service member that a number of critics, including the soldier's family, called insensitive, according to The New York Times.
Trump responded to Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of U.S. Army Captain Humayan Khan, after Khizr gave a speech during the Democratic National Convention in which he denounced Trump.
Trump suggested that Ghazala had not been allowed to speak because of the Khans' Muslim faith, and said that Khizr said "many ... inaccurate things."
"Trump is totally void of any decency because he is unaware of how to talk to a Gold Star family and how to speak to a Gold Star mother," said Khizr.