Donald Trump, who said he felt like a “great and very brave soldier” for avoiding sexually transmitted diseases while dating (he called it his “personal Vietnam”), is today hosting Gold Star families at the White House.
Trump, who famously trashed prisoners of war — “I like people who weren’t captured” — also faced off with Gold Star families when he publicly attacked Ghazala and Khizr Khan, the parents of a Purple Heart and Bronze Star-awarded U.S. Army Captain who died in Iraq in 2004.
At the time, a group of Gold Star families released a letter criticizing Trump’s offensive remarks, criticizing Trump for “not just attacking us,” but “cheapening the sacrifice made by those we lost” and “minimizing the risk our service members make for all of us…It is a bout a sense of decency.” The families asked Trump to apologize but — surprising no one — he refused to do so, insisting, “I don’t regret anything” for weeks.
Here’s the question, from American Bridge President Jessica Mackler: “It’s almost been a year: Will Trump use today’s meeting to finally offer a sincere apology to the Khans and Gold Star families who’ve sacrificed everything for our country, or will he continue to shame us all with his disgusting slander of American veterans and their families?”
Trump Said Gold Star Mother Ghazala Khan Maybe “Wasn’t Allowed To” Speak At The Convention
Trump On Ghazala Khan: “If You Look At His Wife, She Was Standing There. She Had Nothing To Say. She Probably — Maybe She Wasn’t Allowed To Have Anything To Say. You Tell Me.” According to ABC News, “‘Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America,’ Khizr Khan said, addressing Trump. ‘You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.’ Trump appeared to try to brush the speech aside, saying that Khizr Khan ‘was, you know, very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me.’ Trump also said, ‘If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably — maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.’ This appears to be Trump tipping his hat to some far-right-wing and nationalist Twitter users who have suggested that Ghazala Khan was silent during her husband’s speech because they are Muslim and he prohibits her from speaking. In an interview with ABC today, Ghazala Khan said she did not speak because she was ‘in pain.’” [ABC News, 7/30/16]
Trump Claimed That Humayen Khan’s Mother Wasn’t “Allowed To Speak.” “I saw him. He was, you know, very emotional. And probably looked like — a nice guy to me. His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably — maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me, but plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet and looked like she had nothing to say. A lot of people have said that.” [“This Week,” ABC, 7/31/16]
Trump: “I’d Like To Hear His Wife Say Something.” According to the New York Times, “On the poignant appearance of Muslim lawyer Khizr Khan and his wife, whose son, Humayun, an Army captain, posthumously received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery after he was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2004. As his wife, Ghazala, stood silently by his side, Khan held up a copy of the Constitution and asked Trump if he had ever read it and said, ‘You have sacrificed nothing.’ ‘I’d like to hear his wife say something.’” [New York Times, 7/29/16]
Trump Said Script Writers Wrote Khizr Khan’s Speech And That Trump Himself Has Made Sacrifices By Creating Jobs
Trump To Khizr Khan: “Who Wrote That? Did Hillary’s Script Writers Write It?” According to CNN, “Donald Trump rejected a Muslim lawyer’s assertion on the Democratic convention stage that the Republican nominee has ‘sacrificed nothing and no one.’ ‘Who wrote that? Did Hillary’s script writers write it?’ Trump said in an interview with with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that will air Sunday. ‘I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard.’ Khizr Khan, whose son Army Capt. Humayun Khan died in Baghdad in 2004, delivered one of the most powerful speeches of the Democratic National Convention. With his wife Ghazala at his side, Khan repeatedly blasted Trump’s immigration proposals — specifically those aimed at barring Muslims — and said the billionaire businessman has ‘sacrificed nothing and no one.’” [CNN, 8/1/16]
Trump: “I Think I’ve Made A Lot Of Sacrifices. I Work Very, Very Hard. I’ve Created Thousands And Thousands Of Jobs, Tens Of Thousands Of Jobs, Built Great Structures. I’ve Had Tremendous Success.” According to ABC News, “‘Please. I am very upset when I heard when he said that I didn’t say anything. I was in pain. If you were in pain, you fight or you don’t say anything. I’m not a fighter. I can’t fight. So the best thing I do was quiet,’ she said. Khizr Khan said he asked his wife of 42 years to speak but she declined, knowing she would be too emotional. ‘I invited her, ‘Would you like to say something on the stage?’ when the invitation came, and she said, ‘You know how it is with me, how upset I get,’’ he said. Pressed by Stephanopoulos to identify the sacrifices he made for his country, Trump said, ‘I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.’” [ABC News, 7/30/16]
Trump Said Khizr Khan Had “No Right” To Criticize Him
Trump: “Mr. Khan Who Has Never Met Me, Has No Right To Stand In Front Of Millions Of People And Claim I Have Never Read The Constitution, (Which Is False) And Say Many Other Inaccurate Things.” According to The Hill, “After a day of backlash over the GOP presidential nominee’s comments regarding the family of Humayun Khan, Trump released a statement late Saturday night honoring him. ‘Captain Humayun Khan was a hero to our country and we should honor all who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe. The real problem here are the radical Islamic terrorist who killed him, and the efforts of these radicals to enter our country and do us further harm,’ Trump said. ‘While I feel deeply for the loss of his son, Mr. Khan who has never met me, has no right to stand in front of millions of people and claim I have never read the Constitution, (which is false) and say many other inaccurate things. If I become President, I will make America safe again.’” [The Hill, 7/30/16]
Trump Said He Was “Viciously Attacked” By Khizr Khan
Trump: “I Was Viciously Attacked By Mr. Khan At The Democratic Convention. Am I Not Allowed To Respond?” According to a tweet from Donald Trump, “I was viciously attacked by Mr. Khan at the Democratic Convention. Am I not allowed to respond? Hillary voted for the Iraq war, not me!” [Donald Trump Twitter Account, 7/31/16]
Trump: “Mr. Khan, Who Does Not Know Me, Viciously Attacked Me From The Stage Of The DNC.” According to a tweet form Donald Trump, “Mr. Khan, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over T.V. doing the same – Nice!” [Donald Trump Twitter Account, 8/1/16]
Trump Said He Had No Regrets About Attacking Khans, Despite Criticism, Including From Gold Star Families
Trump On His Attacks On The Khan Family: “I Don’t Regret Anything.” “I said nice things about the son and I feel that very strongly, but of course I was hit very hard from the stage and you know it’s just one of those things. But no, I don’t regret anything.” [WJLA, 8/19/16]
Trump Refused To Admit His Attacks On The Khan Family Were Wrong: “You’ll Have To Define What A ‘Mistake Means.” “You’ll have to define what a ‘mistake’ means. We’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to talk about economics. […] It’s been put to bed for a long time, and I don’t think there’s any reason for you to reopen it.” [“Squwakbox,” CNBC, 8/11/16]
Trump Said His Business Career “Sacrifices” Rivaled The Khans’ Sacrifices
Trump Compared The Sacrifices Of The Khan Family To His “Sacrifices” Of Building “Great Structures” And Employing “Thousands.” “George Stephanopoulos: How would you answer that father? What sacrifice have you made for your country? Donald Trump: I think I have made a lot of sacrifices. I’ve work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve done — I’ve had tremendous success. Stephanopoulos: Those are sacrifices? Trump: Oh, sure. I think they’re sacrifices. I think when I can employ thousands and thousands of people, take care of their education, take care of so many things. Even in the military, I mean, I was responsible along with a group of people for getting the Vietnam Memorial built in downtown Manhattan, which to this day people thank me for. “This Week,” ABC, 7/31/16]
Published: Jun 5, 2017