I’ve said in the matter of the Trump’s call with the widow of Sgt. Johnson that it’s hard to know what to think without hearing the call. Well, we now have what is probably a rough approximation of what Trump said in that call — and the sentiment behind it — in a video of his call with Natasha De Alencar, the widow of Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, who was killed in Afghanistan in April. I defy anyone to listen to this call and not be moved:
A couple of things. In this case, it is the widow, Natasha De Alencar–obviously, an extremely strong person — who says, “It’s what my husband wanted.” Trump is very sympathetic and praises her fallen husband and her family in the highest possible terms. But he, also, toward the end of the call takes a slightly jocular tone, asking if some of her five children are good and some not quite so good. It’s entirely appropriate in context and she gets the joke and and plays along (“right?” she says, “there are always a couple in every group”). It’s easy to see how someone in a different frame of mind could have taken it differently, and how repeated in isolation — he questioned whether her children are good — it could be made into an attack.
Anyway, Natasha De Alencar took comfort in Trump’s call. She is rightly proud of her husband and her children — ages 20 to 5 — and we all should pray for this extraordinary family.