A video has surfaced affirming Rep. Frederica Wilson's, D-Fla., recollections of a 2015 speech she delivered at the dedication of a FBI building in Florida, contradicting White House chief of staff John Kelly's accusation that Wilson boasted about securing funding for the building during the ceremony.
The video from the Sun Sentinel, published Friday, shows the full remarks Wilson gave in 2015 during the opening of the new Miramar FBI building. In the speech, Wilson discusses how she sponsored legislation to name the building after two FBI agents killed during a shootout with bank robbers in 1986.
Obama signed the bill into law days before the ceremony in April 2015.
Questions surrounding Wilson's speech arose during the White House press briefing on Thursday, when Kelly said she bragged to the audience she "got the money" for the new FBI building.
"A congresswoman stood up, and in a long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there in 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," Kelly told reporters.
"We were stunned. Stunned that she had done it. Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned," he said. "But none of us went to the press and criticized."
In addition to criticizing Wilson's conduct at the ceremony, Kelly also said he was "stunned" the Democratic congresswoman would listen in on President Trump's phone call with Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed in Niger earlier this month.
Wilson refuted Kelly's characterization of her speech in an interview with the Miami Herald on Thursday, calling it "crazy" to suggest that Obama "just gave" her the money.
"That building was funded long before I got to Congress. I didn't say that," she said. "I have staff, people who write the speeches. You can't say that."
Despite the video supporting Wilson's characterization of the speech, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders stood by Kelly's comments at the briefing.
"Gen. Kelly said he was ‘stunned' that Rep. Wilson made comments at a building dedication honoring slain FBI agents about her own actions in Congress, including lobbying former President Obama on legislation," Sanders said in a statement Friday. "As Gen. Kelly pointed out, if you're able to make a sacred act like honoring American heroes about yourself, you're an empty barrel."