Katrina Pierson is taking a strange new tactic in Donald Trump’s fight with the parents of a Muslim soldier killed in Iraq, claiming that the Army Captain died as a result of the policies instituted by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
There was one glaring problem with the argument — Capt. Humayun Khan was killed in 2004, four years before Obama would become president. At the time Khan was killed, Obama was still an Illinois State Senator.
Pierson claimed during the interview that Obama’s approach to the war in Iraq was really behind Khan’s death.
“It was under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that changed the rules of engagement that probably cost his life,” Katrina Pierson told CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer (via Politico).
The segment was the latest twist in the continued fight between Trump and Captain Khan’s parents.
Humayun’s father, Khizr Khan, spoke on the closing night of the DNC, stealing the show even from nominee Hillary Clinton with his emotional takedown of Donald Trump. In the speech, Khan spoke about the hopes his son had before being killed by a suicide car bomber in Iraq and called out Trump for never making any sacrifices for his country.
“Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America,” Khan said. “You will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
And in the most powerful moment of the speech, Khan held a pocket-sized copy of the U.S. Constitution, asking if Trump had ever read it. That prompted an angry response from Trump, who claimed Khan had no right to make that claim. Trump later criticized Khan’s wife, who stood beside him during the DNC speech, with Trump insinuating that she was not allowed to speak.
Despite facing increasing criticism from both sides of the aisle, Donald Trump doesn’t appear ready to back down from his fight with the Khan family. On Tuesday he told an ABC News affiliate that he doesn’t believe he is in the wrong and doesn’t regret engaging with the Gold Star family.
“I don’t regret anything,” Trump said in an interview with ABC7.”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.”
There are no signs that Trump was ready to back away from the issue. His campaign sent an email to surrogates this week with the title “URGENT PIVOT” calling on them to frame the issue as Trump responding to the threat of Islamic terrorism.
“All — As usual, the media is working against our efforts and our messaging specifically as it relates to the tragic death of Capt. Humayun Khan,” Scott Mason, Trump’s director of congressional affairs, wrote in a copy of the email obtained by The Hill.
“We are asking you to review and use the attached talking points in your daily messaging, including a release and/or statements you can put out in your social media immediately to support Mr. Trump and OUR message, that we must end radical Islamic terror so that soldiers like Capt. Khan, and all Americans, will be safe.”
Katrina Pierson was not the only Trump surrogate to wade into the Khan debate on Tuesday. Trump’s son, Eric Trump, appeared on CBS This Morning and claimed that Donald Trump had already apologized to the Khan family — though not directly. Eric claimed that by calling Capt. Khan a hero, Donald Trump had actually apologized to the family.
[Photo by Ralph Freso/AP Images]