Widow of slain soldier says Trump call 'made me cry even worse'

(Reuters) - The widow of a U.S. Army sergeant killed in Niger this month said on Monday that President Donald Trump "made me cry even worse" in a condolence telephone call when he said that her husband "knew what he signed up for."

In an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America," Myeshia Johnson, widow of Sergeant La David T. Johnson, also said she has been told little about how her husband was killed and has not been allowed to see his body.

Johnson's comments, her first to the media about the condolence call from Trump, were likely to fuel a controversy that has swirled for days around the president's handling of the call to the widow.

RELATED: Army Sgt. La David Johnson's funeral

31 PHOTOS
US Army Sgt. La David Johnson's funeral
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US Army Sgt. La David Johnson's funeral
Myeshia Johnson, wife of U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, kisses his coffin at a graveside service in Hollywood, Florida, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
Cowanda Johnson, who raised U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, is comforted by Richard Johnson Jr. (L) and S.J. Johnson at a graveside service in Hollywood, Florida, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
An unidentified honor guard member reacts after the graveside service for U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, in Hollywood, Florida, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
La David Johnson Jr. son of U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, is presented with an American flag next to his sister, at a graveside service in Hollywood, Florida, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
Myeshia Johnson, wife of U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, receives the flag which draped his coffin at a graveside service in Hollywood, Florida, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
Members of the 3rd Special Forces Group, 2nd battalion cry at the tomb of US Army Sgt. La David Johnson at his burial service in the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on October 21, 2017 in Hollywood, Florida. Sgt. Johnson and three other US soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on October 4. / AFP PHOTO / GASTON DE CARDENAS (Photo credit should read GASTON DE CARDENAS/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) attends the graveside service for U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, in Hollywood, Florida, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
The coffin of U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, is taken into Christ The Rock Church for his funeral service in Cooper City, Florida, U.S., October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
The coffin of U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, is carried by a military honor guard as his widow, Myeshia Johnson, is escorted in at a graveside service in Hollywood, Florida, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
Myeshia Johnson (R), widow of U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, sits with her daughter, Ah'Leeysa Johnson (C) who was presented with an American flag at a graveside service in Hollywood, Florida, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
An honor guard carries the coffin of U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, at a graveside service in Hollywood, Florida, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
An honor guard member touches an American flag to the coffin of U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, at a graveside service in Hollywood, Florida, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) attends the graveside service for U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, in Hollywood, Florida, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
Cowanda Johnson, who raised U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, reacts with Richard Johnson Jr. at left during a graveside service in Hollywood, Florida, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
Myeshia Johnson, widow of U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, is escorted into his graveside service in Hollywood, Florida, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
An honor guard stands at attention as a hearse carries the coffin of U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, to a graveside service in Hollywood, Florida, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
An honor guard stands at attention after they placed the coffin of U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, at a graveside service in Hollywood, Florida, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
Richard Johnson, Sr., holds the hand of La David Johnson Jr., as he and sister Ah'Leesya Johnson hold folded US flag given to them during the burial service for their father US Army Sgt. La David Johnson at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on October 21, 2017 in Hollywood, Florida. Sgt. Johnson and three other US soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on October 4. / AFP PHOTO / GASTON DE CARDENAS (Photo credit should read GASTON DE CARDENAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Ah'Leesya Johnson holds a folded US flag given to her during the burial service for her father US Army Sgt. La David Johnson at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on October 21, 2017 in Hollywood, Florida. Sgt. Johnson and three other US soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on October 4. / AFP PHOTO / GASTON DE CARDENAS (Photo credit should read GASTON DE CARDENAS/AFP/Getty Images)
A member US Army Special Forces salutes the casket of US Army Sgt. La David Johnson at his burial service in the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on October 21, 2017 in Hollywood, Florida. Sgt. Johnson and three other US soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on October 4. / AFP PHOTO / GASTON DE CARDENAS (Photo credit should read GASTON DE CARDENAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the 3rd Special Forces Group, 2nd battalion, comfort each other as they say their las goodbyes to US Army Sgt. La David Johnson at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on October 21, 2017 in Hollywood, Florida. Sgt. Sgt. Johnson and three other US soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on October 4. / AFP PHOTO / Gaston De Cardenas (Photo credit should read GASTON DE CARDENAS/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, FL - OCTOBER 21: Richard Johnson, jr and Cowanda Jones-Johnson attend the burial service for her son U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on October 21, 2017 in Hollywood, Florida. Sgt. Johnson and three other American soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on Oct. 4. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Myeshia Johnson kisses the casket of her husband Army Sgt. La David Johnson during his burial service for at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on October 21, 2017 in Hollywood, Florida. Sgt. Johnson and three other US soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on October 4. / AFP PHOTO / GASTON DE CARDENAS (Photo credit should read GASTON DE CARDENAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the army honor guard fold the flag above the casket of US Army Sgt. La David Johnson during his burial service at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on October 21, 2017 in Hollywood, Florida. Sgt. Johnson and three other US soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on October 4. / AFP PHOTO / GASTON DE CARDENAS (Photo credit should read GASTON DE CARDENAS/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, FL - OCTOBER 21: Members of the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) 2nd battalion Fse comfort each other as they attend the burial service for U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on October 21, 2017 in Hollywood, Florida. Sgt. Johnson and three other American soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on Oct. 4. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
COOPER CITY, FL - OCTOBER 20: Mike Pacheco is overcome with emotion as he attends the viewing for U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson at the Christ the Rock Community Church on October 20, 2017 in Cooper City, Florida. Sgt. Johnson and three other American soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on Oct. 4. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, FL - OCTOBER 21: La David Johnson, Jr. is given an American flag by a military honor guard member during the burial service for his father U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on October 21, 2017 in Hollywood, Florida. Sgt. Johnson and three other American soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on Oct. 4. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, FL - OCTOBER 21: Richard Johnson, jr wipes tears away from the face of Cowanda Jones-Johnson as they attend the burial service for her son U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on October 21, 2017 in Hollywood, Florida. Sgt. Johnson and three other American soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on Oct. 4. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The hearse carrying the cakset of US Army Sgt. La David Johnson arrives for his burial service at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on October 21, 2017 in Hollywood, Florida. Sgt. Johnson and three other US soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on October 4. / AFP PHOTO / Gaston De Cardenas (Photo credit should read GASTON DE CARDENAS/AFP/Getty Images)
US Military honor guard plays TAPs as the body of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson during is interred at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on October 21, 2017 in Hollywood, Florida. Sgt. Johnson and three other US soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on October 4. / AFP PHOTO / Gaston De Cardenas (Photo credit should read GASTON DE CARDENAS/AFP/Getty Images)
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La David Johnson was one of four U.S. Army soldiers killed on Oct. 4 in an attack in the West African nation. Last week, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Frederica Wilson, said she had listened to the call from Trump and that he had upset the family by saying Johnson "knew what he signed up for."

That drew an sharp rebuke from the president, who dubbed Wilson "whacky" and denied her account of the call. "I didn't say what that congresswoman said," Trump told reporters last week. "I had a very nice conversation with the woman, with the wife who ... sounded like a lovely woman."

In Monday's interview, Myeshia Johnson said, "The president said that he (her husband) knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway ...And it made me cry because I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he couldn’t remember my husband’s name."

SEE ALSO: Trump chief of staff John Kelly defends his words to soldier's widow

In a Twitter post on Monday soon after the interview aired, Trump said, "I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!"

Johnson said that when Trump called, she and other family members were in a limousine riding to an airport where her husband's body was shipped. Wilson was also in the car.

Johnson said she did not say anything during the call, adding that afterward, she was "very upset and hurt. It made me cry even worse."

RELATED: US soldiers killed in Niger ambush

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US soldiers killed in Niger ambush
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US soldiers killed in Niger ambush
A combination photo of U.S. Army Special Forces Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson (L to R), U.S. Special Forces Sgt. Bryan Black, U.S. Special Forces Sgt. Dustin Wright and U.S. Special Forces Sgt. La David Johnson killed in Niger, West Africa on October 4, 2017, in these handout photos released October 18, 2017. Courtesy U.S. Army Special Operations Command/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
A U.S. Army carry team transfers the remains of Army Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright of Lyons, Georgia, at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, U.S. on October 5, 2017. Courtesy Aaron J. Jenne/U.S. Air Force/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, West Africa on October 4, 2017, poses in a handout photo released October 18, 2017. Courtesy U.S. Army Special Operations Command/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

Staff Sergeant Dustin Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia

(Photo via U.S. Army)

Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio

(Photo via U.S. Army)

Staff Sergeant Bryan Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington

(Photo via U.S. Army)
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Asked what she might now say to Trump, Johnson said she had "nothing to say to him."

The widow also said that the military has told her little about what happened in Niger, and that she is upset that she has not been allowed to see her husband's body.

"I don't know what's in that box," said of her husband's coffin. "It could be empty for all I know."

The attack earlier this month, which U.S. officials suspect was carried out by a local affiliate of Islamic State, has thrown a spotlight on the U.S. counter-terrorism mission in Niger, which has about 800 U.S. troops.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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