President Donald J. Trump returned to Twitter again and again in an ill-conceived fight with grieving war widow Myeshia Johnson, who is pregnant, this past week.

From left, Richard Johnson Sr. holds La David Johnson Jr,. Ah’Leesya Johnson, and Myeshia Johnson, the wife of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, attend Sgt. Johnson’s burial at the Hollywood Memorial Gardens in Hollywood, Fla., on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. He was killed with three other colleagues in an ambush by extremists in Niger on Oct. 4. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) first raised the issue of Trump’s seeming callousness during a call to Johnson about the death of her husband Sgt. La David Johnson under murky circumstances in Niger. For her role in the controversy, Rep. Wilson, who is Black, was called an “empty barrel” by John F. Kelly, White House chief of staff and on Oct. 24 reportedly received a lynching threat in the form of a Facebook post calling for “ten good men to help carry out a lynching.” Authorities are investigating the threat.

“General Kelly’s comments are reprehensible,” the women of the Congressional Black Caucus said in a statement addressing this and other attacks and insinuations made at Wilson. “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.”

Wilson’s initial account of events was largely substantiated when Johnson herself described the call in a television interview.

“The president said that he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway,” said Johnson, the wife of Sgt. La David Johnson, a US Army Green Beret killed in action Oct. 4, in an interview on Good Morning America. “It made me cry because I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said he couldn’t remember my husband’s name.”

On Oct. 24 Trump, during an impromptu press conference, said that he did remember Johnsons’ name because it was written on a chart placed in front of him during the call. “I certainly respect La David, who I, by the way, called La David right from the beginning,” the president said. “Just so you understand, they put a chart in front — ‘La David,’ it says ‘La David Johnson.’ So I called right from the beginning.”

While questions about the specific circumstances of Johnson’s death still remain unanswered, President Trump has entered into yet another rhetorical quagmire domestically.

“I am concerned about Donald Trump’s lack of sensitivity to other people’s problems,” Michael Kamara, political science professor at Morgan State University, told the {AFRO}. “Everything in his eyes, it’s zero sum. Instead of paying attention to the real human aspect of it, he’s not acting in a human fashion. The guy almost acts like an infant in politics.”

Trump’s inability to demonstrate empathy may have short and long term consequences, Kamara said.

“If you look at the polls right now, they say that he’s losing ground even among Republicans,” said Kamara. “He’s also losing ground among independents.”

FiveThirtyEight’s polling aggregator puts Trump’s mean disapproval rating at 56.7 percent, a figure that has been steadily climbing since he took office. Trump’s mean approval rating, from the same tool, shows a continuously descending rating hovering now around 37.2 percent.

This waning legitimacy may be fracturing the party Trump ostensibly heads. Citing Trump’s corrosive influence on the GOP as a whole, Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) recently announced their retirement from politics.

Trump’s callousness towards the Johnson family is not even the first Gold Star family of color with which the president has sparred with directly. During the Democratic National Convention in 2016 Trump disparaged Khizr Khan, whose son died in the Iraq war, after Khan spoke out against Trump.

“It speaks to a larger troubling trend that he has a disregard for people of color,” said Michelle Murray Yang, Department of Communications professor with University of Maryland, College Park. “Whether it’s his remarks on Charlottesville, or his discussion of the travel ban, of immigration, it does speak to a White nationalist leaning that has come through his discourse, from his campaign.”

Traditionally, these moments are used to criticize or promote policy, instead, Trump is taking the moment for himself, Murray Yang said.

“Typically you use it to make a point about the weaknesses of a political opponent’s foreign policy,” Murray Yang said. “With Trump, this has served really as a reflection of his role as Commander in Chief. We don’t get him talking about the specifics of the mission, why there wasn’t more air support there, why the soldiers were in that area to begin with and what exactly was the mission’s aim and scope, instead we get him focused on really personalizing it. Like many things during this administration, what could be about foreign policy, what could be about how we treat Gold Star families, it all comes back to him.”