Natasha De Alencar, the wife of a Green Beret who was killed in Afghanistan on April 8, shared audio of President Trump’s call to her earlier this year, in which she said she appreciated his gesture.
The Washington Post posted video of the call, which was filmed by De Alencar’s children. Trump was put on speaker phone, and could be heard in the video.
The call came on April 12, according to the Post, four days after Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, 37, was killed in Afghanistan when his unit came in contact with enemy forces. He served with the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
Here is the transcript of the call:
De Alencar: Yes sir.
Trump: I am so sorry to hear about the whole situation. What a, what a horrible thing, except that he’s an unbelievable hero. And you know all of the people that served with him are saying how incredible he was,
De Alencar: Yes sir.
Trump: and just an amazing, an amazing guy, and I wanted to call you and tell you that he’s a great hero.
De Alencar: I want to thank you President Trump. Those words are very kind. He was an amazing man and an amazing husband and an amazing soldier and I couldn’t be more proud of my husband than I am right now, sir, to be honest with you. It’s what my husband wanted —
Trump: Everyone tells me how great — I mean he’s like, he was the leader, he was, he was the boss, he was their friend. They all loved him. You know, just like you do, I mean, he’s just a special guy. Go ahead, Natasha.
De Alencar: Yes, he’s just an all-around guy and I’m glad you got to know a little bit about him and get to hear a little bit about him, sir. My husband is, to me, he was already my hero to be honest with you. We’ve been together 15 years, five children. Rundown real quick 20, 17, 15, 12, and four. My son is currently in college in Missouri playing football, so when I say all-around hero, yes, and for now it’s like the world gets to know he is an American hero. So thank you. I really, really appreciate it, I really do sir.
Trump: That is so amazing. That is so amazing, and I’ll tell you when you’re around, if you could, you know the people to deal with, but if you’re around Washington, you come over and see me in the Oval Office, okay?
De Alencar: Yes, sir.
Trump: You just come over and see me because you are just the kind of family, this is what we want. And how good a football player is your son at Missouri? That’s a good — he’s got to be pretty good — that’s a good team right?
De Alencar: Yes, sir, he’s a cornerback. He’s been playing since eh was five and got a full academic scholarship, when we were stationed in Hawaii, Schofield Barracks, sir. So it’s his life, that’s what he always wants to do, he’s, you know, he’s doing it sir, he’s making me proud and he’s making his father proud in heaven, so I have no complaints. I really don’t. I’m a proud woman.
Trump: He got an academic scholarship, not a sports scholarship?
De Alencar: Not a sports, it was academic. He’s had a 3.7 and above, sir, since the grade school from kindergarten all the way up to 12th grade.
De Alencar: Me and my husband we never had to worry. And never had to stress on him doing it, and just to add that he loves football on at first, there are words, sir, to tell you how proud I am of my son. He’s 20.
Trump: Are your other kids, are your other kids all outstanding, or do you have some good and some not quite as good?
De Alencar: We got some soccer players, right, sir there are always a couple in the group here, and I have, we have soccer players, cheerleaders, sir, singers, it’s a roundabout of talent and they all have their special ways and their own ways, you know, they’re all truly amazing kids, so yeah, we are truly blessed. Yes, we are.
Trump: Well, you just take care of yourself and come around and see me when you’re in Washington and say hello to your children and tell them their father was a great hero that I respected and just — I learned a lot before I made the call. I like to learn and it’s amazing what kind of guy he was. So just tell them I said your father was a great hero, and take care of yourself, Natasha. You know that it’s going to be — it takes time. Time is the key.
De Alencar: Thank you so much.
Trump: Take care of yourself.
De Alencar: Thank you so much.
Trump: I’m honored, I’m honored to talk to you.
De Alencar: Thank you, sir, and to you the same, OK? I really appreciate it sir, and thank you. Thank you very much, from myself and family. Thank you.
Trump: Thank you very much, you take care of yourself.
De Alencar: You, too, sir.
De Alencar told CNN that she is a Democrat who does not “do politics,” and that Trump appeared to understand her loss.
“It became nothing about politics but a person who understood, and that is what he gave to us,” she said.
The release of the call comes amidst a White House flap with the media and a Democratic congresswoman over Trump’s sensitivity to troop deaths.
On Monday, a CNN reporter questioned why Trump had not yet said anything about four soldiers who were killed in an ambush in Niger on October 4. Trump said he had written letters and planned to call as he did “traditionally,” and that not all presidents had called families of fallen troops.
President Obama’s former aides lashed out, and a Democratic congresswoman who said she overheard Trump’s call to Army Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow Myeshia Johnson said that Trump had been insensitive and upset her by his call.
On Thursday, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly — whose son Robert was killed in Afghanistan in 2010 — came to the White House podium to talk about what it is like to be a Gold Star family member, criticizing Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) for politicizing the issue.
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