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Fox’s smear campaign backfires, exposes Gold Star widow’s congresswoman as champion for vets

Ever since Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson released the details of Donald Trump’s callous, insulting phone call in which he told bereaved, pregnant Army wife Myeshia Johnson that her husband “signed up” to die, she has become a target for Trump and his right-wing allies, even receiving death threats. Fox News in particular has savaged Wilson. […]

By Matthew Chapman - October 19, 2017
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Rep. Frederica Wilson
Rep. Frederica Wilson

Ever since Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson released the details of Donald Trump’s callous, insulting phone call in which he told bereaved, pregnant Army wife Myeshia Johnson that her husband “signed up” to die, she has become a target for Trump and his right-wing allies, even receiving death threats.

Fox News in particular has savaged Wilson. Tomi Lahren dismissed her as “crazy,” despite the fact that Johnson’s mother backed up Wilson’s account of Trump’s call. Sean Hannity, meanwhile, called Wilson “vicious” and “sick.”

Fox’s most absurd attack, however, came from a written article on their website by reporter Lukas Mikelionis, claiming Wilson is “no friend of veterans.”

“Wilson’s voting record on veterans issues may call into question the sincerity of her recent defense of U.S. service members and their families,” Mikelionis writes.

However, if you actually follow his link, you find a laughably cherry-picked list of bills.

For one, Mikelionis is counting several bills that would have exempted funding for veterans’ benefits from government shutdowns or threatened shutdowns — which were all perpetrated by Republicans. Those bills would not have been necessary if Republican lawmakers had not refused to fund the government on schedule.

Also on the list are several iterations of Republican “VA whistleblower” bills that would have completely eliminated civil service protections, and a bill that would have allowed veterans deemed mentally incompetent to buy firearms.

By contrast, Mikelionis overlooks all the bills to actually help veterans that Wilson supported. She voted for the bill to reform the VA at the height of the waiting list scandal. She also cosponsored dozens of bills from both parties to improve veterans’ health care, pensions, housing, employment, and education.

Among the bills she cosponsored were the Voices for Veterans Act, the Reducing Barriers for Veterans Education Act, the Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act, the Help Hire our Heroes Act, the GI Education Benefit Fairness Act, the Veterans Mental Health Accessibility Act, the Shelter Our Servicemembers Act, the Veterans Pension Protections Act, and the Military Family Leave Act.

The idea that attacking Wilson on her legislative support for veterans would in any way exuse Trump’s behavior to military families is ridiculous. But Fox News could not even do its homework on Wilson’s record while attempting to make that case.


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