Today, the women of the Congressional Black Caucus issued the following statement in response to the South Florida Sun Sentinel's release of a video of Congresswoman Frederica Wilson’s (D-FL) 2015 speech at the dedication of a new Miramar, Florida FBI Building. The video confirms that Wilson’s account of the speech is true and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's account of the speech is false.
“The women of the Congressional Black Caucus stand in strong support of our colleague, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. Congresswoman Wilson is a woman of impeccable integrity and a dedicated public servant. She is a highly respected Member of Congress who has demonstrated extremely competent leadership on a number of important issues, and we are especially proud of her fearless and uncompromising leadership to fight for the release of nearly 300 Nigerian school girls who were kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram.
“We were appalled by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s statements where he called Congresswoman Wilson an ‘empty barrel’ and accused her of taking credit for securing funding for a new FBI Building in Miramar, Florida that was named after two fallen FBI agents, Benjamin Grogan and Jerry Dove. A video of Congresswoman Wilson’s comments on that day has been released, and it provides indisputable proof that she never made any of the statements of which General Kelly falsely accused her.
“General Kelly’s comments are reprehensible. Congresswoman Wilson’s integrity and credibility should not be challenged or undermined by such blatant lies. We, the women of the Congressional Black Caucus, proudly stand with Congresswoman Wilson and demand that General Kelly apologize to her without delay and take responsibility for his reckless and false statements.”
At press time the following CBC women had signed on to the statement: Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH), Karen Bass (D-CA), Terri Sewell (D-AL), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Robin Kelly (D-IL), Alma Adams (D-NC), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Stacey Plaskett (D-VI), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), and Val Butler Demings (D-FL). Additional names may be added.