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January 12, 2018 06:03 PM

Brendan Johnson Calls Trump's Expletive 'Frustrating'

President Trump is receiving a strong backlash for the vulgar language he used this week while talking about countries in Africa.  The fallout is being felt here in KELOLAND as well.  A former U.S. attorney says he's disappointed, but not surprised by the president's comments. 

Brendan Johnson is an adoptive dad to two children from Ethiopia.  He says Trump's harsh rhetoric unfairly judges many poverty-stricken countries.

In 2007, Brendan Johnson, his wife Jana and their two boys welcomed two children into their family from the same orphanage in Ethiopia.

"The experience of landing in Ethiopia, being able to go to their orphanage, spend time with them and see where they have grown up was powerful and just a great experience," Johnson said.

The children, Tru and Pen have thrived in their new homeland. 

"Sioux Falls has been a wonderful home for them, my daughter actually left and went to school in Minneapolis, she wanted to come back so this is home in South Dakota, and they're thrilled, they're thrilled to be here," Johnson said.

But Johnson says our country is now in a far different place than before, reflected by President Trump's harsh tone on immigration.

"This whole idea that because these countries are poor, and they are poor countries, but that somehow they won't be good Americans when they get here and thus we don't want them, I don't agree with that, that doesn't make sense to me," Johnson said.
Johnson doesn't expect Trump to apologize for his comments, but he hopes this can still be a teachable moment to the country as a whole.

"We look at all these people as God's people, we welcome them with open arms, that's what I hope we get back to in this country, because I think we've strayed from that, not only nationally, but also here at home in South Dakota, I think we have," Johnson said.

Tru is now 21 years old and works at a Sioux Falls hair salon.  Pen, is now 19 and a senior at O'Gorman High School.  

Johnson's wife Jana often travels to the country of Haiti to do medical work there.

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