US President Donald Trump once again defended his controversial condolence call to the widow of a soldier killed in Niger, saying he has "one of the greatest memories of all time". Trump triggered a wave of criticism last week after he told Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sergeant La David Johnson, that her husband "knew what he signed up for".
Myeshia confirmed the description of the call by Representative Frederica Wilson, who slammed the president for being disrespectful to the Johnson family. Myeshia also said that the president did not remember her husband's name during the conversation.
"I heard [the president] stumbling on trying to remember my husband's name, and that's what hurt me the most, because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risked his life for our country, why can't you remember his name?" Myeshia told ABC News on Monday (23 October).
Trump, however, told reporters on Wednesday (25 October) that he used La David Johnson's name "right from the beginning" of the condolence call with "no hesitation". He also noted that he had a chart with the fallen soldier's name in front of him during the call.
"I was extremely nice to her," Trump said, referring to the Gold Star widow. "I've never seen her, I've never met her, but she sounds like a lovely lady. I was extremely courteous, as I was to everyone else. I respect her, I respect her family, I certainly respect La David. Who I, by the way, called La David right from the beginning."
He also said he has "one of the greatest memories of all time" while pointing to his head. "Nobody has more respect than I do," he added. "Nobody."
The president also hit back at criticism that he is an uncivil leader and blamed the media for making him look "more uncivil than I am".
"You know, people don't understand, I went to an Ivy League college," he said. "I was a nice student. I did very well. I'm a very intelligent person. I think the press creates a different image of Donald Trump than the real person."
Trump graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania back in 1968.
Naturally, Twitter proceeded to mock Trump's latest remarks, particularly his claimed "memory". Many pointed out that he repeatedly said "I don't remember" 35 times during his testimony last year while being deposed for a Trump University lawsuit.
Some users poked fun at Trump saying he is a "very intelligent person".
"It is a fact of human experience that very intelligent people don't go around saying they are very intelligent," Representative Ted Lieu tweeted. Another added that the president "shows us his intelligence everyday with his extensive vocabulary".
"Either he really believes no greatness existed before him, or it's like when my nephew says he is going to build the greatest sandcastle ever," one Twitter user wrote.
Another added, "Well, let's all remember this quote when he testifies for Mueller and repeatedly answers 'I cannot recall'."