Donald Trump has a long history of making outrageous, even offensive statements in his 2016 presidential election campaign, starting with his very first speech as a candidate in July of 2015, in which he characterized Mexican immigrants as criminals, drug dealers, and rapists.
But in the two weeks since the Republican National Convention wrapped up, Trump has been on a roll — letting loose a lengthy stream of attention-grabbing statements and accusations that many political commentators say go well beyond what any major-party candidate has ever dared to utter in public.
Here are 10 of the most outrageous, offensive, and simply shocking things Donald Trump has said or done in just the two weeks from July 21 to August 4.
Trump Attacked The Mother Of A Fallen United States Soldier
After the parents of U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, a Muslim-American of Pakistani descent, who was slain by an Iraqi suicide bomber in 2004, delivered a moving speech at the Democratic National Convention, Trump noted in an interview that Captain Khan’s mother, Ghazala Khan, remained silent because, “maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.”
In fact, as she later explained in a Washington Post Op-Ed, Mrs. Khan was overcome by grief.
He also compared their sacrifice of losing their son to his “sacrifice” in having to “work very, very hard” to build his business empire.
Donald Trump to Father of Fallen Soldier: ‘I’ve Made a Lot of Sacrifices’ – ABC News https://t.co/OG2PeHHRCL
— Mike Vlacich (@mvlacich) July 30, 2016
Claims He Saw Video Of Iran Officials Taking Cash From The U.S.
After the U.S. said it had paid $400 million to Iran to settle a debt from before the country’s Islamic revolution, when Iran was still ruled by a monarch, Trump on Wednesday claimed to have viewed a video of Iranian officials actually accepting that money — which Trump falsely called a payoff for release of American prisoners — in cash off a U.S. aircraft.
U.S. officials say no such video exists, and a spokesperson for the Trump campaign claimed to NBC News that Trump confused some stock footage seen on a cable news channel for a classified video.
Watch Trump make his claim, apparently a completely fictional one, in the video below.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 4, 2016
Refuses To Endorse The Leading Republican In Congress For Re-Election
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is running for re-election in his home district, and this week Trump — the Republican nominee for president — said he was “not quite there” when it came to offering Ryan his endorsement, according to the New York Times.
Nonetheless, Ryan continues to endorse Donald Trump for president.
Trump Attacked The Integrity Of A Volunteer Fire Marshal
Upset that a local fire marshal in Colorado Springs, Colorado, enforced a local fire code that prohibited more than 1,000 people from entering a hall where Trump was speaking, Trump told his assembled supporters, “the reason they won’t let them in is because they don’t know what the hell they’re doing. Hey, maybe they’re a Hillary person. Could that be possible? Probably.”
Trump later reiterated his claim, saying that the overflow crowd was turned away “for political reasons,” and that the local fire marshal was “probably a Democrat,” according to a report by Slate online.
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The Colorado firefighters union responded, saying, “occupancy levels are set to protect the public’s safety and we find it unfortunate that Trump’s campaign would question our judgment.” Trump’s campaign consented to the 1,000 person limit four days prior to the event, according to Colorado Springs Fire Department.
Trump Claims That The Election Is ‘Rigged’ Against Him
In what Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus called “his most dangerous comments yet,” Trump claimed repeatedly this week, at rallies and in interviews, that the general election will be “rigged” against him — a claim that even President Barack Obama has dismissed as “ridiculous.”
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) August 4, 2016
“You don’t have to believe that Donald Trump is deliberately trying to undermine the foundation of American democracy to understand how dangerous this is,” wrote Dara Lind of the political site Vox.com.
“If he says a Trump loss means the election has been stolen, there are millions of people prepared to believe it. And on the day after the election, professional provocateurs on talk radio and the internet may be ready to tell them to reject the results of the election and the peaceful transfer of power that comes with it.”
Accused Ted Cruz’s Father Of Being Involved In Killing JFK
During the primary campaign, Donald Trump attempted to smear his chief rival, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, by accusing Cruz’s father, an immigrant from Cuba, of taking part in the alleged conspiracy to assassinate President John F. Kennedy, who was slain in 1963. The very day after the Republican National Convention, Politico reports, Trump made this bizarre accusation once again, presumably as revenge for Cruz’s refusal to endorse him at the convention.
“All I did is point out the fact that on the cover of the National Enquirer there was a picture of him and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast,” Trump said of Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz.
Trump’s Advice For Women Who Suffer Sexual Harassment
— Correct The Record (@CorrectRecord) August 2, 2016
Trump was actually referring to his own daughter, Ivanka, when he was asked how a woman who suffers sexual harassment at work should respond — saying he hoped that if she were sexually harassed by a boss, Ivanka would give up her career and find a new one.
“I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case,” Trump said in an interview.
USA Today newspaper subsequently reported that Trump’s own businesses have been sued by employees for sexual harassment claims.
Trump Advocated Waging War For Profit
At least since 2011, Trump has advocated waging war against countries in the Middle East to “take their oil,” according to a story in the conservative National Review magazine. At a rally this week, as seen in the video at this link, Trump again returned to his war-for-profit theme, telling a crowd that when the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, the U.S. should have seized Iraqi oil. The crowd responded with chants of, “Take the oil! Take the oil!”
Trump Wants To Use Nuclear Weapons
Though, technically, Donald Trump did not make the statement within the last two weeks, on Wednesday, the MSNBC Morning Joe program reported that during an hour-long foreign policy briefing earlier this year, Trump demanded on three occasions to know why he should not order a nuclear attack if he became president.
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) August 3, 2016
But Trump has also said in public on at least nine occasions, according to the political site Think Progress, that he feels the United States should unleash nuclear weapons not only against enemies in the Middle East such as ISIS, but even against countries in Europe.
“Europe is a big place,” Trump said in a March interview with Fox News. “I’m not going to take cards off the table.”
Trump Referred To His Political Opponent As ‘The Devil’
While criticism and even harsh attacks between political opponents are an expected element of any campaign, Donald Trump seems to have taken his verbal assault on Democrat Hillary Clinton to a new level this week, when — pulling no punches — he condemned her as “the devil,” as seen in this video.
— CNN (@CNN) August 2, 2016
Later this week, Donald Trump altered his rhetoric against Hillary Clinton, steering away from saying that she is literally “the devil,” but asserting instead that the former-Secretary of State is actually “the founder of ISIS.”
[Featured Photo By Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images]