Natasha De Alencar released a video of herself receiving a phone call from President Donald Trump in April, after the death of her husband, Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, who was killed in Afghanistan.
The video of the call, which has Trump on speakerphone, was released as Democrats are criticizing Trump over his calls to families of soldiers killed in action. Alencar is visibly happy to speak with Trump, and says she believes her husband is in heaven, and she’s proud of what he did.
“I am so sorry to hear about the whole situation,” Trumps says in a video of the call, released by The Washington Post. Trump said he learned about her husband before making the call, and says “he is an unbelievable hero, and you know all of the people who served with him are saying how incredible he was, and was just an amazing, amazing guy.”
“I wanted to call you just say that he’s a great hero,” Trump said.
Alencar responds, saying, “I want to thank you, President Trump. Those words are very kind. He was an amazing man, an amazing husband, and an amazing soldier. I couldn’t be more proud of my husband than I am right now, sir, to be honest with you.”
Trump relays some of the comments he received about her husband, and says “he was the leader, he was the boss, he was their friend. They all loved him, just like you do. He was a special guy.”
The two then speak about Alencar’s five children, ages 20, 17, 15, 12, and 4. She notes that her oldest plays college football in Missouri, and received an academic scholarship.
Alencar says her son is “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 asks her about her other children, and she proudly talks about them. Trump then asks her to relay his message that “your father was a great hero,” and he tells Alencar to “take care of yourself, Natasha. You know that it’s going to be a mixed time.”
During the call, Trump also invites Alencar to visit the Oval Office.
The video was released after Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) listened in on one of Trump’s calls to another widow, whose husband was killed in Niger. Based on Wilson’s claims, Democrats criticized Trump for allegedly saying the soldier knew what he was getting into.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly fired back at Democrats strongly for their criticism during an Oct. 19 White House press briefing, where he said Trump’s message reflected the message Kelly received when his own son was killed in combat.
“Hours after my son was killed, his friends were calling us from Afghanistan, telling us what a great guy he was,” Kelly said. “Those are the only calls that really mattered.”
Kelly said that U.S. troops volunteer to place their lives on the line, and noted “They don’t do it for any other reason than selfless service. Not for any other reason than they love this country.” He asked media to “try to somehow keep that sacred.”
Kelly noted Rep. Wilson listening to Trump’s call, which she used to criticize Trump, and said he believes the sacredness of a troop making the ultimate sacrifice for his country, was “eroded a great deal yesterday by a selfish behavior of a Member of Congress.”
Wilson laughed at Kelly’s response, according to 7 News Miami on Oct. 19. She said, “You mean to tell me that I’ve become so important that the White House is following me and my words?” and added, “That’s amazing. I’ll have to tell my kids that I’m a rockstar now.”
Kelly also said former President Barack Obama did not call him to pay his respects, as Trump has been doing for families. Kelly said, referring to Trump, “I think he very bravely does make those calls.”
“When I took this job and talked to President Trump about how to do it, my first recommendation was he not do it because it’s not the phone call that parents, family members are looking forward to. It’s nice to do, in my opinion, in any event,” Kelly said.