Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) attends the burial service for Army Sgt. La David Johnson at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on Oct. 21 in Hollywood, Fla. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Opinion writer

“The American people need to know what happened to Sgt. La David Johnson. And I think that his family needs to know what happened to Sgt. La David Johnson.”

Two months after Johnson was killed during a mission in Niger, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) still has questions. “It’s sort of like a coverup,” she said in the latest episode of “Cape Up.” “And from the very beginning, I was calling it ‘Mr. Trump’s Benghazi.’ ”


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This episode with Wilson comes just before Johnson’s mother complained about not being properly briefed by the Pentagon during a CNN interview on Monday. Wilson told me the family is being given information “that’s not matching” information being reported in the press, which has led to many questions.

“I was trying to find out why was he separated from the rest of his unit for 48 hours,” Wilson said. “Where was he? Why did they leave him? And what happened to him, ultimately? Why was he found almost a mile away from the scene of the battle?” She enumerated those questions days before a report in the Associated Press, citing unnamed U.S. officials, said that a military investigation “has concluded that Johnson wasn’t captured alive or killed at close range.”

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) talks with The Post’s Jonathan Capehart for the “Cape Up” podcast on Dec. 13 in her office on Capitol Hill. (Jonathan Capehart/The Washington Post)

Wilson had known Johnson and his family for years. That’s why she was in the car with the family when President Trump placed his condolence call. And she is still plenty angry about what he said. Wilson told me what happened after she demanded the military aide give her the phone. “He said, ‘Congresswoman, you’ll make me lose my job,’ so he said, ‘Well, what did you want to say?’ I said, ‘I wanted to curse him out,’ ” Wilson recounted. “I said, ‘Because he should have known better.’ ” When I asked her about Trump’s tweets and the ensuing battle with White House chief of staff John Kelly, Wilson was incredulous. “The way they were carrying on,” she said, “you would have thought that I really had cursed him out, which I wish I would have.”

Listen to the podcast to hear Wilson go into detail about the Johnson case. She reveals that the remains of Johnson’s that were found after his burial last month were “some of his teeth.” You will also hear her jaundiced view of the president. We talk at length about her fight with Trump and how he always seems to get into battles with African Americans. “The president enjoys picking fights with people of color. That is a fact, I mean he’s proven it,” she said. “And fights about the least of things.”

“This is not a normal-thinking person. He has no heart. He’s like the tin man. He has no heart, he has no feelings,” Wilson explained. “If he thinks that he can survive in that White House, picking a fight with every little criticism he gets, anyone who throws a criticism at him, especially a woman and especially a black woman, then he’s going to go absolutely crazy.”

And, yes, I asked Wilson about the cowboy hats.

“Cape Up” is Jonathan’s weekly podcast talking to key figures behind the news and our culture. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever else you listen to podcasts.