tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN October 23, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
boy. jeanie moss. cnn. new york. >> and don't forget you can watch anywhere. anderson starts next. we begin tonight with the president yet begin saying something that turns out not to be true and the white house covering for him. the white house official confirmed to cnn the west wing tried to -- after the president said this in the rose garden last week when asked why he hadn't said anything about the four u.s. soldiers killed. >> i've written them personal letters. they've been sent or they're going out today but we were doing the weekend. >> that was monday. on tuesday, the president said this on a radio interview. >> i have called i believe everybody but certainly i'll use the word virtually everybody where during the last month something happened. >> keeping hip honest he hadn't called virtually everybody and in an e-mail changed by role
call after the president said that, the white house rushed to get contact information from the pentagon. an e-mail from the defense department that the white house aids knew he said something that was false, they tried to reverse engine for it to be true. now that was tuesday night. the next day this exchange happened at the white house press briefing. >> president also said that he has called every family of someone whose died, is that true? >> the president's made contact and -- with all of the families that have been presented to him through the white house military office. >> families that have sense come forward in the associated press, the names are in these reports. you're saying they have not heard from the white house in any capacity. >> all the individuals the president has been presented with through the properly
protocol have been contacted through that process. >> just to follow up on that. you're saying if the president had been contacting the family member of every service member whose been a casualty since he came to office because of the protocols of that office? >> that's my understanding. >> that was wednesday, october 18. that was also the day the ups package with a letter from the white house was sent to the father of us servicemen according to the atlantic. since until then he hadn't heard anything from the president. the white house admitting it tried to rush out familiy to families of fallen services after the president made that announcement last week. jim acosta joins us with more from the white house. so you got some information on the letters and timing? >> reporter: that's right anderson, officials told us earlier this evening yes, they were trying to rush out the condolence letters last week, during that process they found
there was a reason as to why that was not the case. there was a hold up because of the soldier killed in action, who have not had a letter go out to a family member, that soldier had been involved in what they call a multiple casualty entity, it was explained to me by this official, the dop had to do an investigation to determine why that took place. in those cases this white house was saying the letters didn't go out soon enough to family members. as soon as they discovered that delay they decided to go ahead and expedite those letters and get them out as soon as possible. anderson, that explanations does not answer all the questions that the widow of la davis johnson has which is high why is it she hasn't been able to see her husband's body. why is it it took 24 hours on cnn today for the military to find her husband after that
ambush in niger. >> as you said the widow of la davis johnson was on nbc this morning talking about her telephone call with the president. >> the president said that he knew what he signed up for but it hurts any ways. and i was -- it made me cry because i was very angry at the tone in his voice and how he said it. he couldn't remember my husband's name. the only way he remembered my husband's name was because he told me he had my husband report in front of him. that's when he actually said, la david. i heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband name. and that's what hurted me the most because if my husband is out her fighting for our country and risked his life for our country, why can't you remember his name. and that what made me upset and cry even more because my husband was an awesome soldier.
>> the president tweeted in response. explain what he said. >> that's right, anderson. and point out we tried to ask the question this all day long in response to the widow of la david johnson. he had no comment multiple times throughout the day. after the interview was over he tweeted, i had a very respectful conversation with the widow of la david johnson and spoke his name from the beginning without hesitation. anderson, it goes without saying. it is highly unusual. it would have to be unprecedented i think, yarl a time where the president disagreed with a gold star member in this family. it's something unheard of the way the president deal with fallen soldiers. there is no credit tick he will not respond to and this was another example today. >> jim thanks very much.
joining me cnn military analyst mark kurtly. also political analyst gloria gor sure and john donnelly a reporter. john, you broke the story about how the warehouse was sent -- white house was sent scrambling. what the staffers do? >> they said the president in particular on tuesday morning he did a radio interview where he said the quote that you ran about virtually all the families has been contacted. that very day, the white house, the president's aids and the national security counsel aids contacted the defense secretary's office and asked for the names of those who have died in the line of duty and their contact information. so impolicedly he has not contacted them all. and subsequently as you pointed out, the other news organization
have found almost half the families that reporters have reached out to have said we have gotten neither a call nor a letter from the president. president's under no obligation to do this, by the way, but he's the one who made the claim that he had don't it. >> general hurtling, you and i talked about this last week. one over the things that's so -- the reason this story continues, this story would not have been a story had the president himself not created it into a story when to avoid answering a question about niger. he went down the road of praising himself and criticizing the former presidents. it's entirely a story of his making. >> i agree with you, anderson. what's concerning to me is it gets to leadership issues of developing trust of people by doing what you're saying you were going to do. the ability to show empathy and
humility. we haven't seen that yet. in these minor things that continue to build, and we've seen them over and over again where the president says something and makes excuses for why what he said wouldn't true. and he's found out later on. in this case it's gold star families. in previous cases it's been donations to the veterans. it's just a recure occurring thing. i'm sure people are starting to lose trust in small areas if they lose trust in small areas they're going to lose trust in big areas. >> bachelor ya -- gloria are these the thing that happen when you have a lack of experienced people in the white house? >> sure. one of the families of the fallen told atlantic that in fact they had heard from the secretary of defense, from john mccain but not the president. there's clearly a problem here. it may be bureau krask, it may
be the white house doesn't have the back up it needs to figure out how to do these things properly. and aside that you have a president who can't help by brag on himself, by saying oh i did it better that obama and the previous president. so you have a white house that's scrambling to make the president a truth teller when in fact he isn't in this case. it makes a bureau krask problem becomes a political problem. not to mention the personal problem it is for myesha johnson who felt hurt by the president of the united states and he continues to get into an argument with her. >> john, explain how the white house staff tries to fix this. in your piece you write about how they scramble try to make what president said true. >> well, they wanted the information about the 65
americans, subject to the e-mails that en -- they wanted the information, the notices of death for each of the 65 had died, not just killed in action b but on duty accidents. the people who should be most concerned about this are president trump's fellow republicans because if you want his agenda to advance, he's just shooting himself in the foot and really hurting his ability to do so. >> general hurtly. one of the officials says the reason this was a delay because a number of these deaths were part of multiple casualty incidents. discuss that complicate things? >> it doesn't make sense to me, anderson. there may be something i can't figure out in terms of how you process letters with multiple casualties. i'm sure what they're talking about is some of the one that is
died aboard ships. in combat i had mass casually exercises. i had one incident where eight soldiers were killed in one suicide attack. it's tougher when it's that many together, i just don't understand why it's being blamed on a snafu, doesn't make sense to me. but maybe i don't foe all the details. just general hurtly, there probably wouldn't be any outcry even from families if the president was waiting several weeks in order to call or write. it's the -- again it's the fact sort of brought this up, to gloria's point, bragging about how he handled this and the speed to which he handled that made this a story to which reporters are going to look into. >> yeah true. and here's the thing, anderson. the president is commander and chief, a commander can chose what ever way they want to reach out to people who suffer these kind of losses. i saw mrs. johnson this morning
on the news and it brought back a lot of memories for me. this is a young woman who is going through the toughest time she'll ever go through in her life, and to have this kind of crap thrown on top of it where she's at the center of a storm because of someone saying different things that just aren't true isn't fair to her. she's going through the stages of grief, she's a young woman. it really brought me back to time where i've been to so many memorial services and seeing young spouses who are mourning their soldier and it's just not fair to do these kind of thing. >> and you know whatever shelves, the only important thing is that she feels this way. it's not whether the president feels that what he -- that he was inaccurately portrayed or what ever. all any of us should care about is that she feels slighted in some way shape or form is and was made to cry. and for the life of me i just can't understand why the
president can't say, i'm sorry you feel this way, i'm we had a miss communication, your husband's a hero and i'm sort sory for your loss. i just don't get it. >> has e ever said he's sorry? identify never heard the words. >> well, yeah. >> that's what i'm saying, and we go back to the campaign and there was a time he was asked have you ever apologized for anything and he said no. unfortunately it's having some effect on the month morale. >> thank you all. appreciate it. the president's first controversy regarding gold star families dating back to the campaign, which i sr. khan. he joins us. knowing where you stand.
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case we see anymore in recent cases. religion, that seems to be gone as well. gold-star families i think that left in the convention over the summer. i just they the selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die in the battlefield i just thought that would be sacred. >> president trump went off him and hi family as he spoke on behalf of hillary clinton. comments in her book memoir of hope. he joins us now. thank you for being with us. first of all when you heard general kelly make those comments i'm wondering what you thought. was do you think he was referencing to you? >> i don't know but he was doing the same thing he was complaining about. >> how's that? >> bringing gold-star families
their training and sacrifice to their political experience. in defense of donald trump in that moment of tragedy in america, with my four brave sons so bravely lost their lives under very difficult circumstances, instead of honoring them and restraining from political ex speed yenssy, citizen john kelly, we honor his service, his family's service but now he is a citizen of this nation. he was using those examples in a defense of donald trump. >> he was there in a political role making a police man statement. >> exactly. >> your four sons, you're referring to the service members killed in niger. they're your sons? >> they're all my sons. i don't wear this gold -- i wear
this gold star on behalf of thousands of my sons and daughters who have sacrificed their lives in defense of this country. to keep us safe, to protect us, protect our values, that is what i wear this pin. >> you feel that in your heart they are your sons? >> they are my sons. these families i have used two words and you have used those two words again, dignity, privacy. >> that's what they deserve? >> that is what they deserve. we would of called it that. we received the most dignity, respect and privacy. we were granted the privacy and same thing should be granted to them, that was not. >> we've debated how to even cover this entire situation over the last couple of days because of that very reason. and i keep coming back to, this would not even be a topic of
discussion, because it is such a private matter, had the president himself nod used there as a way to avoid questions about niger or praise himself about how he handle the families of the femalen and go after the former president. >> that is what i'm indicating towards the chief of staff. everyone knows, this nation knows how political expedient this president is. he uses every moment that he gets to self-grant diaz. they know his weakness, they know this flaw, they should have put a script in front of him to read from or should have advised him, this is not the moment temporary political expediency. that should have been the advise that was not needed. when they realized he had misstated, misquoted and
misspoken to this family, they should have immediately said most dignity, respect for the family and privacy. and we will talk about that some other day but not now. that was not done. >> instead the president just today tweeted out this morning. >> this is not ending. it is sad, it indicates something really it is and that is there is no campus in the white house. it is campusless ship on sail. whoever thinks we were told other day in the white house that we cannot of the media depress the -- democracy cannot question a military officer, that is not the tradition of the united states democracy. military officers when they serve honorably, they retire and go home and collect their pension, but not in these cases, especially john kelly.
he has come to defend, first he goes to dhs to implement the unconstitutional executive orders of donald trump that are challenged in the court system now. then he comes from there, white house and rest of the nation was hoping that there'd be some sanity, some direction, some campus to this white house but then he gets in the color of donald trump misstating thing, political expediency this is very unfortunate. >> you've written this new book america hope of sacrifice, you've spoken several times, are you optimistic about the future of this country and where this country's at? >> we just celebrated 230 years of celebration of our constitution of the values that are inshrined in these
documents. i have stood in front of the hopeful nation, i have gone community to community, other communities, political communities, i have stood in front of them, they're hopeful. this is the anomaly taken place in 2016, this is not our kashlgt, this is not our dna. this is -- country, this nation is made of goodness beacon of hope for the rest of the world as ronald reagan has said this is the shining country on the hill with walls around it and doors. and -- bring something to contribute to this nation, it is that nation that welcomes immigrants. i read the decoration and i explain all this in the book, i read the decoration of
independence in 1972 and i was in awe of the spirit of decoration of independence. there 1837 words in the decoration of independence. 13 grievances against the klummist. number 7 is my favorite, we change to our columnist he's now -- he is is hampering our decoration then. this administration practices that grievance, and they practice and make executive orders out of that, laws, policies, yes, to -- immigration but to demonize community, that's not america's dna. that is a message to who own this country. >> mr. khan appreciate talking to you. when we come back new details and why much still is not done with the soldiers.
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more breaking news, new details on the time line, the raid in niger that claimed the lives of four american soldiers. jim sciutto with the latest. >> reporter: the chairman of the joint chief says the ambush came despite intelligence was not likely. >> the assessment by our leaders on the ground at that time was that contact with the enemy was unlikely. mid-morning on october 4th the patrol began to take fire as they were returning to the operating base. >> reporter: troops first
requested air support with approximately 50 isis affiliated fighters. >> my judgment would be that unit thought they could handle the situation without additional support. what we found out in the investigation exactly why it took the call. >> reporter: a u.s. drone already in the air nearby reached their position in minutes. jets responded next, arriving two hours after initial contact. though none conducted air strikes. in response to criticism that the military has not been forthcoming, did you know ford promised honest answers to the family and public. >> i think we owe the families and american people transparency in situations like this and we plan to life just that. >> as she said good-bye to her husband this week, the widow of la davis johnson hold nbc that she is waiting for answers as well. >> i don't know how or where he
got killed. >> reporter: still to be explained i why was johnson body recovered miles away from the attack. >> once we found out sergeant johnson was missing we brought the full weight government to try to recover his body. >> reporter: three weaks after the attack lawmakers are demanding details. >> americans should know what's going on and should know what cause the death of four young american. >> what the more than people need to know is what the relatively fall footprint we are enabling military forces to deal with this challenge. and to help them deal with the challenge so they'll destabilize their local area and region. >> johnson's widow says she wasn't able to see his body. what's the military protocol when it comes to something like this? >> in that press conference with
the general the most sober moment when he asked him that question. his an was there are times when the military suggest, that they not view the body. it's a subtle way of him conveying that sometimes they convey to the families, the body whether due to the nature of injuries or the times the body recovered would be difficult for family members and loved ones to see, and that appeared to be his message here. we asked the pentagon about this, by policy and practice they never tell a family you cannot view the body. legally the family maintains custody of the body throughout the whole process. the family including la david johnson's family always have the right to see the body says the general, at times they might be counselled that's something they don't want to do. that may be the tragic factor of
warfare. >> thank you. i spoke to the general of the air force who served in iraq and afghanistan. >> congresswoman what is the important question you think need to be answer about what happened in niger? >> well there was a lot of questions, why was the mission and lack of support. there's thing the military need to come forward with and it seems like they're in the process of doing that. these are people whose job is basically to go to a foreign land unsupported and work with indigenous force to teach them to secure their own country. so the idea that we may have green beret's out on a mission is not new that's what they're trained for. >> sir, there's been complaints that the military have not come
forth with information. are you satisfied about how that happened? >> no. now with the pressure building up, we are hearing -- i don't doubt the military was going through their own internal investigation, i think that's essential. i think we're going to find out when this is all said and don't what's going to happen. number one, we have a right to know and deserve to know because these are our men and women equipping to go do these important missions. on the other hand, we have to remember being in the military, and especially special operations and special forces is an inherently dangerous game. these members do something americans shouldn't have to do. >> i'm wondering what you're thinking about the president continuing to tweet about his conversation with the sergeant's widow. the president essentially said that what the widow felt happened did not happen.
>> i wish the whole thing would go away. what bothers me is, everyone's become political now. the only thing not political is where you go out to eat on friday, that's probably going to change and some restaurants will be political. up until now the one thing we kept sacred is this idea if someone gave their life for that country that wouldn't be political. there's plenty of blame, not on the widow's account but maybe from the president and the congresswoman. i wish the president would have been private about it. maybe issue a statement saying that wasn't my intention and move on. in terms of the congresswoman jumping and saying general kelly calling her a empty barrel is racist, i think that's too far. reaching out to the news on her end is to blame too. when this set lsz down i hope we
can get back to respecting all levels on both sides. those given the sacrifice to the country. >> finally, senator mccain seems to take a shot at the president saying about the vietnam quote, we've broken the highest -- obviously president trump -- which was due to -- do you think mccain's statement was fair? >> i don't know if it was fair or not. i know a lot of people defer to the draft in vietnam and i know a lot of people responded to the call that went and served. there are a lot of people that fled to canada and came back to the united states after that. a lot of these folks weather it was president trump or clinton look back and wish they could have made another decision. at the end of the day i think we need to treasure those who do step forward, the 1% who defend our country. t time to move forward. >> congressman i appreciate your
time. thank you. when we come back more on his thinly vail swipe against the president's draft defer mtsz. another claim against bill o'reilly revealed. le insurance with geico. goin' up the country. later, gary' i have a motorcycle! wonderful. ♪ ♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪ ♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪ geico motorcycle, great rates for great rides. according to feng shui, the bed should on it.orth east. you're trying everything to get pregnant. new one-a-day couples pack gives you both nutritional support you may need. for her to prepare for a healthy baby and for him to support healthy sperm. be in it together.
he's brought us to the obstructed justice at the fbi. and in direct violation of the constitution, he's taken money from foreign governments and threatened to shut down news organizations that report the truth. if that isn't a case for impeaching and removing a dangerous president, then what has our government become? i'm tom steyer and, like you, i'm a citizen who knows it's up to us to do something. it's why i'm funding this effort to raise our voices together and demand that elected officials take a stand on impeachment.
a republican congress once impeached a president for far less. yet, today, people in congress and his own administration know this president is a clear and present danger who is mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons. and they do nothing. join us and tell your member of congress that they have a moral responsibility to stop doing what's political and start doing what's right. our country depends on it. tonight, the president's military service or lack thereof is in the spotlight after senator john mccain made a reference to president trump without ever mentioning his name. mccain was on c-span talking about the vote father and motie this opinion the draft.
>> the one i would never ever -- we drafted the lowest income level of america and the highest income level found a doctor would say they had a bone spurt. that is wrong. if we're going to ask every american to serve, every american should serve. >> again, he didn't mention the president by fame but it is a fact mr. trump did not join the military receiving five deferments including for bone spurts. this was talked about on "the view" this morning watch this. >> people thought you were talking about mr. trump because he had a doctor's photo saying he had bone spurts. >> more than once. >> yeah more than once. do you consider him a draft dodger. >> i don't consider him so much a draft dodger as i feel the system was so wrong that certain americans could have evade their
responsibility to serve the country. >> the largest point about the draft system is a fair one in a particular case where one particular case and person getting deferment because of alleged bone spurs. i say alleged because the person himself doesn't seem to remember much about it. >> because i was student deferments, and ultimately had a medical deferment because of my feet. i had a bone spurt. >> which one did you have the bone spurt? >> you'll look it up in the records it's in the medical records. >> when the spurs were -- bone spurts were legitimate or not he said he always felt like -- by the way, donald trump's father sent him to that school when he was 13 allegedly because of bad
behavior. joining us now the panel. i want to play a clip you did with donald trump in 2014 when you asked him about the medical deferments. >> you did have a medical deferment. >> feet. >> what was -- the medical deferment is feet. >> so what's going on with your feet. >> i had a spurt on the back of my feet at the time prevented me from walking long distances. >> so you couldn't march. >> i would have difficulty walking long distances, i had spurs. >> okay that's an important thing. >> i got a deferment, not an out i got andv deferment.
>> so he showed you his feet. >> yeah and i saw no spur. >> do you know what a spur look like? >> well -- part of what i was getting at when i said to businessman trump about well, that's a legitimate thing, a lot of people get deferments, i was trying to get him to explain this thing about his draft number. this is something he repeated many times, a high draft number and thus i didn't have to serve. the lottery was 18 months after he graduated from college. the thing is i was watching the draft lottery in my apartment. >> none of it could have been the case. >> it couldn't have been the case. after i spoke with him on the campaign trail he went back to the lottery number story. so, it's almost as if he wants to stick very closely to the original distortion because
that's what he can keep straight in his mind. he chose that distortion for a reason and doesn't want to give it up. >> gloria senator mccain wen so far not to call the president a dro draft dodger. taken from his last speech it seems to be a different route taken from senator mccain. >> well, i kind of saw a smile on the clip you were showing. it seem -- i think what we're seeing with john mccain is mccain unbound to a great degree. the president had said, you're not a war hero and you never -- mccain never said anything about that because he didn't want to dignify it obviously. but this is a president who has warned, i'm going to punch back, i'm going to punch back. and we haven't seen that yet. i think mccain is kind of
saying, well, okay, here. i'm giving you a bit of opportunity here and i think he's trolling him. >> he kind of said look i held back and it's going to be ugly if i do respond words to that effect. i want to play something else which was said -- it's not a college it's a boarding school. >> well 1st grade through 12th grade. it's not a university. >> one of the thing that i've always said, i was never in the military as such. and i always felt that i was in the military because i, in a way had more training mil fairly than a lot of guy that is go into the military. >> right. >> because that was a very hard education at that time. that was when military schools were at their all-time peek. >> it is fascinating he believes he was in the military in some way. >> it's like someone who was a
crossing guard in the elementary school and said i was a police officer. it's ridiculous. one over the things that's appalling about all this is tha during the vietnam war, there were lowering of standards for who was admitted to the military that began at the time the president sought his deferments and more than 7,000 people were brought into the military, sent to vietnam and died under those lower standards, which included disabilities far more profound those bone spurs. this is not a frivolous matter, his claim to military experience for being in a high school and this idea that, you know i really did -- >> it does go back to the campaign when he was critical of generals saying something to the effect that he knows more than the generals. >> it's incredibly disrespectful to the man and women who served.
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imagine what we can do for multiple sclerosis, even migraines. if we can use patients' genes to predict heart disease in their families, imagine what we can do for the conditions that affect us all. imagine what we can do for you. another stunning sexual harassment allegation against former fox news anchor bill o'reilly has come to light. "the new york times" reports he settled with an accuser for $32 million. that was just before renewing his contact for $25 million a year. you'll remember with all the allegations against him from several women, advertisers fled. o'reilly was fired from fox news. with this latest allegation, o'reilly is firing back. brian stelter has all the latest. >> what on earth would justify
that amount? what awfulness went on? >> that's what so many people are asking. now that the "new york times" has revealed that bill o'reilly -- >> stopped right here. >> paid $32 million to stop former fox news legal analyst lease wheel from suing i am from all the settlement payments from fox news, this is the largest by far. >> this morning, the stunning new report and what he is saying about it. >> the new bill o'reilly bombshell, reportedly paying $32 million. >> on monday, o'reilly told glenn beck his enemies are behind this, plotting to keep him off tv. >> the end game is let's link o'reilly with harvey weinstein, let's make him that to take him out of the manipulators forever. >> scrutiny on fox news which can't seem to shake these sandals. there are new questions about o'reilly's behavior. >> my conscience is clear.
>> o'reilly defended himself on nbc last month. >> you were accused of sexual harassment. you said at the time you did absolutely nothing wrong, do you stand by that? >> i do. >> what we didn't know then that o'reilly struck a $32 million deal back in january. wheal, a regular guest on his show was threatening to sue. >> she made allegations of a nonconsensual relationship and that he sent her pornographic material that included guy pornography. >> in this affidavit, wheal said she had no claims against o'reilly. with the secret safely buried, fox renewed o'reilly's deterioration worth an estimated
$25 million a year. fox booted o'reilly in april after "the new york times" investigation revealed other settlements. but he was welcomed back on the euro last month. >> come back. will you come back? >> maybe, i'll be fishing first. >> it's outrageous. >> gretchen carl son sued roger ailes last year and settled for $25 million. >> nobody pays $32 million to anybody for false accusations, nobody. i don't care how much money you have. >> now o'reilly has tens of millions less. he's vowing to fight on, saying the times story is part of a plot to take him down. he told the "times" reporters -- >> we have physical proof that this is bull [ bleep ]. bull [ bleep ], okay? so it's on you if you want to destroy my children further. >> he always brings his children into this. >> he does. >> into this discussion.
he's not -- so far he has not denied the payment of $32 million, correct? >> no he's essentially confirmed he did pay that a.. he says he cannot share why but keeps blaming the media instead of taking accountability for his own conduct. >> did fox know about the $32 million settlement before they hired him. >> they knew about the settlement but not the price tag. apparently o'reilly didn't want the network to know, perhaps he was concerned it would leak out or something. he thought this would be secret and it didn't remain secret. at the core of this, it's a rotten network, something rotten there, not now, but the beginning, beginning. they built him as a star and looked the other way. the president's feuds and ongoing battle against mccain who's firing back. and the wife of fallen soldier la david johnson. the white house comes clean on the condolence letter sent to
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that's why i rent from national. where i get the control to choose any car in the aisle i want, not some car they choose for me. which makes me one smooth operator. ah! still a little tender. (vo) go national. go like a pro. lis weal. the president pubically credit cards the widow of a fallen sormd. and the white house admits it scrambled to send condolence letters for it families of fallen service members after the president stated he contacted virtually everyone. these are the president's battles on a monday, all battles of his own making. we begin with myesha johnson, the widow of sergeant la david johnson, one of the fallen in niger. >> the president said tha