Frederica Wilson accuses John Kelly of not respecting women, black women or black people

Florida Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson said outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly has not apologi...

Posted: Dec 12, 2018 1:20 PM
Updated: Dec 12, 2018 1:20 PM

Florida Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson said outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly has not apologized to her for their 2017 feud because she feels he "does not respect women, and he definitely does not respect black women, and I don't think he respects black people."

The congresswoman said Tuesday she received death threats and couldn't "couldn't even go anywhere without armed security," after the retired four-star Marine general made false claims about her in a White House briefing last October.

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In a briefing that took place in October 2017, Kelly took to the podium and erroneously claimed Wilson took credit for securing "$20 million" in federal funding to build a new FBI field office in Miami in 2015. A video of the dedication ceremony posted by the Sun Sentinel shows his claim is false.

When asked why Wilson thought Kelly never apologized, Wilson told CNN's Don Lemon on "CNN Tonight" she thinks Kelly "made up the whole story to side with the President to make it look like I was some sort of a clown or someone who was, who just lies all the time, and I think that's why he never apologized, and because he does not respect women, and he definitely does not respect black women, and I don't think he respects black people."

The White House did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

Kelly's attack of Wilson from the podium came after Wilson publicly criticized Trump's comments during a condolence call with the widow of the late Army Sgt. La David Johnson. Trump, according to Wilson and a family member present during the condolence call, said Johnson "knew what he signed up for." Trump accused Wilson of fabricating her account of what he said on the phone call.

"I was standing up for my hero, my Sergeant La David Johnson and his family," Wilson told CNN. "And they came after me for no reason."

Wilson said Kelly "had no reason to slander my name," and said he has never apologized.

Wilson said after Kelly's comments, she couldn't go vote because "there was a gentleman in Orlando who said he was going to kill me, he was going to hang me, and they arrested him. He bonded himself out of jail, and so the Capitol police suggested that I just stay put for a while until they could calm everything down."

"I was petrified," Wilson said.

Of Kelly's tenure overall, Wilson said "I don't think that Mr. Kelly did a good job, and I think I want to say good riddance to him. Good bye."

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