On Thursday, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly accused Rep. Frederica Wilson of taking credit for funding an FBI building in Miami that was named in honor of two fallen agents.
However, video of the event, obtained by Florida’s Sun-Sentinel, completely contradicted that account, showing Wilson speaking about legislation she helped pass to honor the names of the fallen agents, Benjamin Grogan and Jerry Duke.
“It is our patriotic duty to lift up Special Agent Benjamin Grogan and Special Agent Jerry Duke … and place their names and pictures high, where the world will know that we are proud of their sacrifice,” Wilson said at the event.
Wilson also asked anyone who served as a law enforcement official or first responder to stand and be recognized.
Contrast that to Kelly’s account of the event:
And a congresswoman stood up, and in the long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there and all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call he gave the money—the $20 million—to build the building. And she sat down, and we were stunned. Stunned that she had done it. Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned.
In response to the release of the video, the White House doubled down on the accusations, insisting that Wilson had made the ceremony about herself and her accomplishments.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also said to a journalist questioning Kelly’s falsehood in a press briefing about the matter, “If you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that’s something highly inappropriate.”