On Thursday, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly defended Donald Trump, calling him “brave” and attacked Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), who has been advocating on behalf of a fallen soldier’s widow, calling her an “empty barrel.” But a recently unearthed video shows that Kelly grossly misrepresented a key aspect of his response to Wilson’s criticism.
During Thursday’s White House press briefing, Kelly offered an especially personal defense of President Donald Trump’s recent controversial conversation with a fallen soldier’s family. Wilson was listening in during the call, and ultimately spoke out regarding the president’s comments.
Kelly specifically targeted Wilson for the Congresswoman’s “stunning” actions in calling out the president for what the wife of slain Army Sgt. La David Johnson viewed as insensitive remarks during a phone call.
During the takedown, Kelly recalled a 2015 speech Wilson made at the opening of a new FBI building, lamenting her for standing up and taking credit for the funding:
“A congresswoman stood up, and in a long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there in all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call, he gave the money, the $20 million, to build the building, and she sat down.”
However, according to a video found by South Florida Sun Sentinel, as Wilson claimed Thursday, the incident never occurred.
The Florida representative fired back at Kelly saying: “That is crazy that I got the money and Mr. Obama just gave it to me.”
“That building was funded long before I got to Congress, I didn’t say that. I have staff, people who write the speeches. You can’t say that,” The Wilson told the Miami Herald.
On Friday, Wilson escalated the feud with the White House to new heights, suggesting Kelly’s use of the pejorative term “empty barrel” may have racist undertones.
“That’s a racist term, too,” she told CNN Friday morning. “I’m thinking about that. We looked it up in the dictionary because I had never heard of an ’empty barrel.’ And I don’t like to be dragged into something like that.”
Watch the video below: