Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Thursday blamed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the death of Army Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan, a Muslim American war hero whose parents mounted a vocal opposition to the GOP nominee and his anti-Muslim bigotry last week.
Asked in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” why Trump refused to apologize to Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Manafort said the GOP nominee had already “paid the respect” and “expressed his sympathy” to the family.
“We quibble over the words and the sentiments about what he feels towards the family and what they’ve went through ... I mean, just because he doesn’t say the words everybody wants ― he’s said he’s sorry for what they’ve gone through,” he claimed, even though Trump has not publicly apologized to the Gold Star parents.
Manafort then attempted to recast the debate, claiming the “main issue” wasn’t Trump’s campaign, but rather the “suffering” of the Khans due to the “war in the Middle East, the destabilization and the policies of Obama and Clinton that caused them.”
The Khans, however, didn’t speak out against the Iraq War. They spoke out against the GOP nominee because of his Muslim ban. “If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America,” Khizr Khan said last week at the Democratic convention.
Moreover, Capt. Khan was killed in Iraq in 2004 while protecting his unit from a car bomb. Obama did not take office until 2009 ― meaning Manafort made the same chronological error that Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson did earlier this week.
“It was under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that changed the rules of engagement that probably cost his life,” she told CNN on Tuesday.
Pierson later walked back her remarks, admitting her “timeline” was off.
“What I was talking about is Donald Trump has no connection with anything to do with Capt. Khan,” Pierson told CNN on Wednesday. “Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq. She did not support the surge. Barack Obama made things worse by invading more countries than President Bush did.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist