UPDATED 12:25 p.m. with additional comments and corrections:
WASHINGTON D.C. - President Donald Trump fired back at those who say he spoke rudely to the widow of a serviceman on Tuesday.
"I didn't say what that congresswoman said; didn't say it all. She knows it. And she now is not saying it. I did not say what she said, and I’d like her to make the statement again because I did not say what she said. I had a very nice conversation with the woman, with the wife who was - sounded like a lovely woman. Did not say what the congresswoman said, and most people aren’t too surprised to hear that," Trump said in a pool spray following a Senate Finance meeting today.
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-Fla) said in an interview that Trump told the widow of a serviceman killed in Niger that "he knew what he signed up for."
The mother of the serviceman also said the president disrespected the dead soldier."President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband," Cawanda Jones-Johnson told The Washington Post
According to a source close to the president, President Donald Trump was "misunderstood" in his comments to an army widow, and only meant to console her - though an early morning tweet issued by the president bypassed his condolences to tear into Congresswoman Wilson.
"This president cares deeply. Maybe he said something that was misunderstood, but he certainly cares about fallen servicemen and women," the source said speaking on background.
It is the first indication from anyone in the administration the president misspoke when speaking with U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow Tuesday.
President Donald Trump tweeted “Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!
Trump’s call to Myeshia Johnson’s, who is pregnant and mother to his surviving two-year-old son and six-year-old daughter came at 4:45 p.m. before Johnson’s remains arrived at Miami International Airport on a commercial flight.
The President’s actions came after reporters in the White House press corps pressed the president Monday on why he had yet to reach out to the family of soldiers recently killed in Niger.
Saying former President Obama failed to call the family of killed servicemen, Trump walked that remark back after NBC reporter Peter Alexander pressed him on the issue.
"I will, at some point, during the period of time, call the parents and the families, because I have done that, traditionally," Trump said during a joint news conference with Senator Mitch McConnell Monday on the back steps of the Oval Office outside of the Rose Garden.
"I probably would have hung up on him," Christina Ayube said bluntly.
Ayube, a Gold-Star mother from Salem, Mass. lost her son, Army Sgt. James Ayube December 8, 2010.
Sgt. Ayube, an army medic was on patrol when an elderly man approached him and another soldier and detonated a suicide bomb that also killed the two soldiers.