President Donald Trump said Thursday he likes the fact he is hosting a fundraiser for the family of a slain soldier’s widow.
The White House said in a statement that Trump, a former reality TV star, is “open to the idea of holding a memorial for Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed by a US soldier during a combat mission in Niger in May.”
Trump’s decision to host the fundraiser, which will take place at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, comes amid a growing sense of frustration among Trump’s supporters over his handling of the tragedy.
On Wednesday, Trump told reporters he would consider hosting a memorial service for Johnson, and then on Thursday, the president said he was open to it.
But a White House statement released Friday afternoon indicated that the president is still not “close” to the thought of holding one.
Trump said Johnson was a “wonderful guy” and “a patriot” and that he would be “honored” to host such a memorial.
“I want to make sure we honor him and our fallen brothers and sisters,” Trump said.
“He’s a great guy, a patriot.
He’s a patriot.”
Trump has been criticized for his handling and his response to the deadly ambush in Niger on May 4 that killed Sgt. Johnson and four other US soldiers.
Johnson’s widow, Diamond Johnson, is expected to speak at the event on Friday.
She has not announced her attendance.