Gold Star dad slams Trump's ability to 'use the English language' after call to widow

Retired colonel, Gold Star father, and Boston University Professor Andrew Bacevich recently offered his take on President Trump’s poorly-received condolence call to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed in Niger earlier this month.

In an interview with the Daily Beast, Bacevich noted that Trump’s, "ham-handed efforts to express condolences to the widow of Sgt. Johnson," came from an individual "whose inability to use the English language is really without precedent in American politics."

Bacevich also weighed in on Trump reportedly telling Mrs. Johnson, "he knew what he signed up for."

RELATED: Army Sgt. La David Johnson's funeral

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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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"That’s a really stupid thing to say. I think it’s a callous and unfeeling thing to say—even though that it is true," Bacevich told the Daily Beast.

Both President Trump and chief of staff John Kelly stand by the call. 

During an October 19 press briefing, Kelly said that the president was trying to express, "that [the deceased soldier’s] a brave man, a fallen hero, he knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted."

"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," Kelly further noted. "That was the message. That was the message that was transmitted."

SEE ALSO: Trump says he’s a 'victim' after report that DNC, Clinton campaign partly funded Russia dossier

Mrs. Johnson describes the exchange differently. 

In a recent interview with ABC News' 'Good Morning America,' she recalled that, in addition to the "knew what he signed up for" comment, "I heard [the president] stumbling on trying to remember my husband's name, and that's what hurt me the most, because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risked his life for our country, why can't you remember his name?"

RELATED: A look at the soldiers killed in Niger ambush

7 PHOTOS
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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