@alextdaugherty @anitakumar01 @doug_hanks
Rep. Frederica Wilson never said she secured $20 million from President Barack Obama to build an FBI building in Miramar in 2015 although Trump administration Chief of Staff John Kelly accused her of doing so from the White House podium on Thursday, according to a video of the actual event.
During a video of the nine minute speech posted Friday by the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Wilson took credit for passing legislation to get the building named after slain FBI agents Benjamin Grogan and Jerry Dove, killed during a 1986 shootout with bank robbers south of Miami. Multiple members of Congress and then-FBI Director James Comey praised Wilson’s effort in getting the building named for them in 2015.
But Wilson never took credit for securing federal funding during her speech, showing that Kelly’s attack on her was false. Documents suggest that the money for the project was allocated by Congress before Wilson arrived in Congress in 2011.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In her remarks, Wilson did call passing her bill so quickly “a miracle, to say the least,” thanks to her and colleagues being in “attack mode.” But she also spent significant time praising the agents who Kelly said on Thursday had deserved the attention that day.
“Today it is is our patriotic duty to lift up Special Agent Benjamin Grogan and Special Agent Jerry Dove from the streets of South Florida and place their names and pictures high where the world will know that we are proud of their sacrifice, sacrifice for our nation,” she said according to the video.
“It is only fitting that their names should be placed on the same mantle with the letters FBI. Because Special Agent Grogan and Dove embody the sacred motto of which the agency has become known. Please repeat it after me: Fidelity. Bravery. And integrity.
“God bless you,” she said at the close, drawing a standing ovation. “God bless the FBI. And God bless America.”
Kelly launched a highly specific attack on Wilson without mentioning her by name during a 20 minute speech at the White House on Thursday, accusing the Miami Gardens Democrat of politicizing the death of a soldier and taking undue credit for the FBI building during a solemn ceremony.
Read more here.