When President Trump claimed on Monday that he called the families of fallen service members more than his predecessors did, media outlets went on a frantic search for other Gold Star families in order to confirm or deny Trump’s claims.
The drama only heightened when Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL) went public with her interpretation of the condolence call President Trump made Tuesday to the widow of Green Beret Sgt. La David Johnson, saying that he had been disrespectful to the family.
On Thursday, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota spoke with Sheila and Calvin Murphy whose son, Etienne Murphy, died in Syria in a vehicle rollover accident.
Camerota, after expressing her condolences to the Murphys, asked whether they had received a phone call from President Trump. Mrs. Murphy, who was unable to stop crying throughout the entire segment, gave a simple reply:
“No, I haven’t. I haven’t, but it’s okay. It doesn’t matter if I hear from the White House or not because it’s not really about … it’s not about a call or letter. I just want people to remember my son and all the other Gold Star moms, Mrs. Johnson, all those who are grieving. Trust me, none of us want to be in the position, and the worst thing I ever have been called is a Gold Star mom.”
Camerota pressed again:
“I know that you, you wrote a letter to the White House, I think. What did you want the president to know about your son?”
And once again, Mrs. Murphy’s reply gave her pause:
“I just wanted him to not forget my son. And I actually thank President Trump for ordering the air strike in Syria but it wasn’t enough to save my child. I have no hard feelings towards anyone…”
But it was Mrs. Murphy’s answer to Camerota’s final question — “How can we help you?” — that laid to rest any question that she might be willing to play politics:
“If you could just give me my son back.”