It’s looking more and more like the last two weeks of the campaign will be a recap of some of Donald Trump’s worst moments. On Wednesday, after praising Newt Gingrich for fighting with Megyn Kelly and taking a break from campaigning to plug his hotels, Trump sat down for an interview with ABC News. George Stephanopoulos asked if the candidate feels he should apologize to the family of U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004.
Unsurprisingly, Trump did not answer the question, but he said he has great “respect” for Captain Khan and his family. “If I were president at that time, Captain Khan would be alive today, George. Because I wouldn’t have been in Iraq,” he claimed. Trump made a similar remark in the second presidential debate.
Stephanopoulos pointed out that Trump publicly supported the war in Iraq (though, in private conversations he was against it, Sean Hannity assures us). Trump insisted he is wrong, despite evidence to the contrary.
In a separate interview with ABC News, Captain Khan’s father, Khizr Khan, said the remark is more evidence that Trump should not be president. “This is the most cruel thing you can say to grieving parents, that if I was there this would not have happened,” Khan said. “There’s no sincerity in those remarks … This is one character that a leader must have to be the leader of a great country, to be the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the United States: empathy. And this person totally lacks that.”
Trump has been asked multiple times if he will apologize to the Khan family specifically (he’s only expressed vague regrets), and it’s no surprise that the feud would come up again this week. Khizr Khan just cut a campaign ad for Hillary Clinton, and he hit the campaign trail for the first time on Wednesday.
At a mosque in Norfolk, Virginia, Khan said he and his wife felt moved to speak at the Democratic National Convention after hearing questions from Muslim-American children. “At gatherings, little children would ask — ‘You are an attorney, are we going to be thrown out of the country’?’’ ‘‘The courage [to speak out] wasn’t ours,’’ Khan said. ‘‘The courage was given to us.’’