Rep. Wilson returns to Capitol after facing death threats
Rep. Frederica Wilson received a warm welcome at the Capitol Wednesday, her first time back since death threats kept her home in Florida last week amid a feud with President Donald Trump.
Wilson was given a standing ovation during Democrats’ caucus meeting Wednesday morning. And several lawmakers stopped her outside the House chamber during votes later in the day to personally welcome her back.
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“There’s so much love and support,” Wilson said. “It’s so admirable, so many people reaching out throughout this whole ordeal. It was great. I was happy to be back.”
Wilson said she remains undeterred after the death threats that followed her public feud with Trump and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. The spat started two weeks ago after Wilson criticized Trump’s call to a soldier’s widow and shared details of the call with media, after which the White House went after her.
Wilson said she now has increased security back home in her South Florida district but didn’t have any security trailing her in the Capitol.
“I can’t say that I’m not worried,” she said about the threats she’s received in recent weeks. “Hopefully it’s just a lot of rhetoric by the one-third of the nation who is buoyed by this behavior.”
‘Kelly stood by his criticisms of Wilson earlier this week, saying he had no plans to apologize to her despite mischaracterizing her speech at an FBI building dedication in 2015 and calling her an “empty barrel.”
“Well, I’ll apologize if I need to. But for something like that, absolutely not. I stand by my comments,” Kelly said on Fox News Monday.
Trump and Kelly both attacked Wilson after she publicly shared details of a call the president made to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, one of four U.S. soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger last month.
Wilson said Trump was insensitive during the call telling the widow, Myeshia Johnson, that her husband “knew what he signed up for.” The White House soon went on the attack, calling Wilson a liar and Kelly saying she was self-congratulatory two years earlier during the FBI ceremony.
“It’s not fair and it’s not right to attack a sitting member of Congress for no reason,” Wilson said Wednesday of Kelly’s remarks. “I was characterized in very unflattering terms, I don’t even want to go back through it.”
A video of her 2015 speech published by the Sun Sentinel refutes Kelly’s assertions that she took credit for getting the federal dollars to construct the building. Wilson has continued to criticize the White House, including as recently as today.
“This is just 1 example of the racist absurdity coming from WH yet they’re mad when ppl say White Supremacists occupy the WH. Sad!” she tweeted Wednesday about Kelly’s controversial comments saying failure to compromise led to the Civil War.
And Wilson said she has no plans to stop anytime soon.
“As an elected official and someone has been in politics as long as I have, I’m accustomed to pushback. I’m not going to say I’m accustomed to death threats and the kind of rhetoric that has occurred,” she said. “But I can say that I will always speak up.”
via Politico http://politi.co/2lnbIsw
November 1, 2017 at 02:17PM