Donald Trump

Trump on His Spat With Parents of Slain Muslim Soldier: 'I Have No Regrets'

Although Khizr Khan "has no right" to question Trump's constitutional fidelity, Trump has "a right to defend himself."

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WJLA

Donald Trump's advisers reportedly have urged him to drop his politically damaging spat with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a Muslim soldier killed in Iraq, and focus on attacking Hillary Clinton. But as with previous comments that provoked bipartisan criticism, Trump seems constitutionally incapable of admitting he was wrong or even moving on to another subject.

"I don't regret anything," the Republican presidential nominee told WJLA, the ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C., yesterday. "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."

Not even suggesting that Ghazala Khan, who said she did not speak at the Democratic National Convention last week because she did not think she could maintain her composure while discussing her dead son, had been muzzled by a domineering Muslim husband? No, not even that.

The New York Times reports that an internal Trump campaign memo instructs his proxies to "express gratitude for the Khans' sacrifice" but adds that Trump has a "right to defend himself." No one denies that Trump has a right to respond to criticism, just as other people have a right to criticize that response. Trump, who thinks Khizr Khan "has no right" to question his respect for the Constitution, seems genuinely baffled by the idea that freedom of speech is a two-way street.

It is fair to say that Khan "hit [Trump] very hard" in his convention speech, although whether he attacked Trump "viciously" (as the candidate also has claimed) is a matter of perspective. Trump, who routinely engages in ad hominem attacks, seems to view any criticism of him as vicious. In any case, here is what Khan said:

Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities; women; judges; even his own party leadership.

He vows to build walls, and ban us from this country. Donald Trump, you're asking Americans to trust you with their future.

Let me ask you: Have you even read the United States constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words liberty and equal protection of law.

Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America.

You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.

This harsh criticism, especially the fully justified suggestion that Trump is constitutionally illiterate, obviously rankled him. But instead of responding substantively by defending his policy proposals or highlighting Hillary Clinton's support for the "dumb war" (as Barack Obama called it) that killed Khan's son, Trump irrelevantly and recklessly speculated about the reason for Ghazala Khan's silence at the convention. The stereotype-evoking suggestion that she "wasn't allowed to have anything to say" was not exactly a persuasive rebuttal of Khizr Khan's complaint that Trump "consistently smears the character of Muslims." Nor did it address Khan's other points.

Some of the Republicans who distanced themselves from Trump's comments went too far, suggesting that losing a son in a war makes you immune from criticism. "You're not going to find me being critical of Mr. and Mrs. Khan no matter what," said Gov. Chris Christie, a Trump supporter. "It's just inappropriate for us in this context to be criticizing them, and I'm not going to participate in that."

It's not surprising that Trump, whose appeal is based largely on his rejection of political correctness, would rebel at that expectation, which is neither fair nor reasonable. Just as the relatives of people murdered in mass shootings do not necessarily know what they're talking about when they promote Hillary Clinton's gun control agenda, the parents of slain soldiers do not necessarily know what they're talking about when they oppose Donald Trump (or when they support him). The problem was not Trump's decision to rebut Khan; it was the content of his rebuttal.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich—who like Christie competed against Trump for the Republican nomination but unlike Christie could not stomach an endorsement—lectured Trump on Twitter about his breach of decorum: "There's only one way to talk about Gold Star parents: with honor and respect." Trump's mistake, in other words, was treating Khan the way he would treat any other political opponent: by belittling him instead of explaining why he was wrong.

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  1. Ghazala Khan was overwhelmed by grief, yet had no problem going to the DNC, standing there on live TV while her husband criticized Trump, and defended the woman who sent her son into war.

    I don’t know, something about that doesn’t seem right. If you’re so overwhelmed by grief why allow yourself to be brought on to live tv and be used as a political pawn?

    1. It must have been grief, because it’s totally outside the realm of possibility and decorum to suggest that women are not treated as equal partners to men in Islam.

    2. Let me get this straight. According to Reason Adam Lanza and Chris Kyle are the same, but the parents of a muslim soldier cannot be questioned. Got it.

      1. To be fair I don’t think Jacob is saying they can’t be questioned, he seems to be saying the focus and tone of the response was questionable.

        1. Do wonder if pointing out that Khan’s son died in a war that Hillary voted for would have been an better action. Of course that wouldn’t have gotten nearly the media attention that this did. Perhaps he’s trying to build up hype before dropping that truth bomb?

          1. Trump did exactly that and it has been ignored.

      2. Well Chris Kyle wasn’t demonizing Trump so it’s totally different. It’s TDS Trump Derangement Syndrome it makes otherwise rational people do some strange things. I’m afraid there is no cure, only time will eventually heal this horrible affliction.

        1. Yes, truly they are suffering from false consciousness, comrade.

      3. According to Richman…

      4. Didn’t read the article, did you? In fact, Sullum says just the opposite, saying that Republican leaders went too far in suggesting precisely this.

    3. The way I heard it was that she usually does speak until someone starts to display her son on the vids (via cross cut or overlay or whatever) – at that point she breaks down and cannot speak. She was at the convention and she was able to speak until she got to the podium with her husband – at which point the image of her son was plastered everywhere causing her to break down again. It’s hard to imagine, though ,that it wasn’t going to be known that her son’s picture was going to be displayed. So she was probably just trying to be a part of the statement by being there. No doubt she wanted to be represented (as a political pawn or not). So questioning her intent is not above reproach – but making assumptions of her grief probably isn’t worth the debate.

    4. To be fair to the Khans and their use as pawns by Shillary, their son Humayun Khan died in 2004, when Hillary was not Secretary of State.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Humayun_Khan_(soldier)

      The Progressives are scared shitless that Hillary is losing in November, so they and their media whores are attacking anything Trump says and hoping something sticks. Just stay on topic Trump. Hillary has so much bad and corrupt baggage that this is like the Mariana Turkey Shoot.

    5. There’s more on the table with some hidden skeletons in Khizr Khan’s closet as American Thinker and Breitbart.

  2. Ugh. This again. You get up on the stage of a political rally and address the opposition, you’re now in the political arena. You don’t get to hide behind your grief. That’s a cheap debate tactic these days. The unimpeachable source.

    And, it’s Donald Fucking Trump. No one is that stupid as to think they won’t get hit back, and likely in a disproportionate way.

    1. ” it’s Donald Fucking Trump. No one is that stupid as to think they won’t get hit back, and likely in a disproportionate way.”

      So true, it’s like taking a swing at Mike Tyson and not expecting to get knocked out.

      1. “I mean, yeah, we were in the ring and he had his gloves on, but I didn’t think he’d ACTUALLY hit me back, wtf man?”

      2. I think they were actually counting on him saying something. That’s why Khan’s speech ignored that huge elephant in the room of Hillary voting for the war that got his son killed, focusing entirely on their status as immigrants.

  3. ” Trump seems genuinely baffled by the idea that freedom of speech is a two-way street.”

    So do most authoritarian assholes in government.
    Frankly, I’m sick and tired of this PC shit where we aren’t supposed to criticize Islam and its adherents. Yes, not all Muslims are terrorists, and yes, there are many upholding Muslim citizens who never have any intention of harm and yes, to a degree, Trump was in poor taste to single out the Khans. At the same time Islam is a problem in this world, it is not because of race, ethnicity or nationality, it is the whole ideology behind it. Yes, a large part of the problem was/is caused by U.S. foreign policy without a doubt. But even where the west hasn’t ventured and meddled Islam is a problem with groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria. Look at the massive failure in Europe with the migrant crisis. That ideology has major issues.

    1. Look at the massive failure in Europe with the migrant crisis.

      Yet suggesting that maybe we should put the brakes on importing tens of thousands of the same sort of people here is looked on as totally out of bounds and crazy. Because TRUMP!!11!!!!

      1. It’s all because of Trump. Obama could suggest the same thing and nobody what bat an eye.

        Look it’s all due to narrative. If you are someone who believes Republicans are all racist bigots then you are going to see every action they take through that lens. Trump temporary banning immigration from that region is due to his hateful bigotry against Muslims.

        If you see all Democrats as compassionate then you will see their actions through that lens. Obama is banning immigration from that part of the world to protect us from terrorism, he’s able to fight terrorism without even firing shot, smart diplomacy in action.

        1. “Obama could suggest the same thing and nobody what bat an eye”

          ^ This

          1. But since Obama is not suggesting the same thing, then maybe ^ Not this.

        2. Obama is banning immigration from that part of the world to protect us from terrorism

          even better: it’s to protect them from us and our decadent influence. He’s preserving the very integrity …. sorry, couldn’t keep going, had to clean the vomit from the keyboard.

      2. Exactly. So many proponents of allowing mass migration fail to realize that the native population can very well be overrun with [negative] consequences as opposed to some who believe there can only be positive outcomes of mass immigration.

        1. I think citizenship is a privilege, not a right, and I think the biggest drain on America right now are Americans. What I would like to see is a global “polympics” held every ten years or so, where we have an open competition for US citizenship. We’ll give everybody on earth an opportunity to take a written test, a physical test, a manufacturing test, and a weigh-in. We can create an algorithm that sorts the results, and we can grant the best 330 million people US citizenship. Those who are stupid, lazy, unproductive, and fat get rejected. The losers who currently hold US citizenship would be put on a garbage barge to find new accommodations elsewhere, so we can make room for the bright, talented, industrious newcomers.

          1. Incredibly great idea. I think this could also be the new hit show. American Citizenship Warriors debuts tonite!

          2. I like your idea PTSD. And you are absolutely correct about the biggest drag being Americans, 44 million people on food stamps

            1. And 200 million being fat (and expensive). It could be the Hunger Games. Literally.

  4. This harsh criticism, especially the fully justified suggestion that Trump is constitutionally illiterate, obviously rankled him.

    Of course, Mr. Khan seems to think the constitution guarantees unfettered immigration to the US by anyone from anywhere without restriction. Pot, kettle; kettle, pot.

    1. Plus I think it’s better being merely constitutionally illiterate, as opposed to someone like Hillary who openly rejects that constitution. During her speech she talked about attacking the 1st and 2nd amendments and they have the nerve to bring up the constitution?

  5. Trump is playing right into the Democrats’ hand. So long as the Khan thing stays in the media (which he is gladly assisting), the focus stays off Frau Liegend M?se.

    1. They wave Khan at him like a red cape and he stupidly charged at it. He should have politely agreed then moved on.

      At the RNC, they waved the families of people murdered by illegal immigrants and the parents of the people Clinton got killed in Benghazi – the media, Reason, and Clinton just ignored it.

      1. And that’s the big problem I have with Trump’s response. An appropriate response would be to say you’re sorry for the son’s loss, but supporting an individual who is married to a person largely responsible for the Global War on Terror due to both his actions and inactions, and who personally voted for the Iraq War which killed their son, and furthermore has a history of lying to military families about the circumstances of their loved ones’ deaths, even when that information is not classified (oh, wait, she doesn’t give a damn about information handling), is an act of lunacy. Furthermore, it is not unconstitutional for Congress to make legislation regarding immigration.

        1. I meant to say “disagreed” but whatever. Trump should have brushed it, not derailed his campaign for a week.

  6. Phew – opened up the browser this morning and headed over to Hit ‘n’ Run, just knowing I would see a Trump article on top. I’m glad my psi powers are still up to snuff.

  7. I feel like I am living in an alternate universe here. This is news? Because the Donald criticized someone, who was criticizing him?
    Gold star parents do, in general deserve respect. But as soon as they got on to the podium and spoke at a political convention, specifically arguing against the Republican nominee, they are fair game.

    The other thing is that Trump never criticized the son who died serving our country. He criticized the parents (clumsily I grant you) but is this worth almost a week of coverage? He then did tweet later about Hillary’s support for the war, and that it was Islamists who killed their son. But no one cares about that. HE IS A BIG MEANIE!

    And of course, there is absolutely NO BASIS whatsoever for the possibility that a Muslim woman wouldn’t be permitted to speak in public. NONE. EVERYWHERE Muslims are in power, they create the almost utopian ideal of equal protection and freedom for women.

    1. Gold Star parents do not deserve respect when they actively use the sacrifice their child made as a pulpit to stand upon. The respect they may claim is only for their parental skills in raising a child who decides to serve. Once they show their true nature as people to the country we are free to judge them on their actions irregardless of what their child did.

      “look at me, look at me, my son died for the country, hear what I have to say! My opinion is now greater than yours because my son died in a war”

      That is pretty much the nature of Mr. and Mrs. Khan.

  8. Who fired the first salvo? Khan did, he stood in front of millions and critized Trump with his wife by his side. The democrats are loving this, this is payback for Trumps sucker punch when he told the Russians to hack the Hilldog.

  9. ” Trump seems genuinely baffled by the idea that freedom of speech is a two-way street.”

    Annnnnd not a peep about the other major candidate who vowed to destroy the first and second amendments.

    Ya’ know what? Fuck you.

    1. That quote from the article baffles me. Freedom of speech is a government regulation thing, not a person-to-person thing. Trump never said “arrest him”. He simply said “He has no right to say….”, which is a very common turn of phrase when someone says something nearing slander.

      “have you ever read the constitution?” as an insult, would typically generate the response of “go fuck yourself” in working man parlance.
      Trump chose “he has no right…”, which is a polite way of saying “go fuck yourself”.

  10. Greif as propaganda. And very hypocritical of someone who believes sharia trumps the US Constitution.

  11. Trump says dumb things. Clinton does criminal things.

  12. Mawkishness and false outrage all around. This is the grossest election story yet. What delights await us in the next three months?

  13. Our trolls are moving up in the world. They can afford promoted comments now.

    1. They always could, it’s just now Soros is opening the moneybags up.

    2. Probably a Reason staffer trying to get the commenters to pay for that shit in response.

  14. “Not even suggesting that Ghazala Khan, who said she did not speak at the Democratic National Convention last week because she did not think she could maintain her composure while discussing her dead son, had been muzzled by a domineering Muslim husband? No, not even that.”

    EVEN THAT? Seriously, can someone clue me in here? I’ve read umpteen headlines regarding Trump’s insults (plural) to the Kahns (plural again) yet all I’ve actually read and heard is that one little sentence of his about questioning if the Mrs. was allowed to speak on stage. Was there more?

    1. Nope, that’s it. She stood silently behind her husband because she is too overcome with grief a decade after his death. That must be it because it is totally out of bounds to suggest that Muslims do not believe in and promote full equality between men and women. Especially a Muslim like Mr. Khan who is an advocate for Sharia.

      1. Unbelievable.*

        (dammit, just realized that is one of Sean Hannity’s favorite words)

      2. Nope, that’s not it. Here’s a more complete list of the back and forth. Trump’s mistake was to suggest that 1) the wife wasn’t allowed to talk, which apparently is untrue, and 2) suggesting that his sacrifices as a real-estate developer were similar to the loss of a son in combat.
        http://www.latimes.com/politic…..story.html

        1. thanks

  15. Lemme be all un-PC here, from what I’ve read over the years and experienced, but Muslims women *are* expected to show deference in the presence of men in public. I’ve had to deal with Muslims in a couple of property deals and it’s a dynamic plain to see. For example, the wife is rarely part of the conversation – if at all – and if present doesn’t look the men in the eye and doesn’t say a word. It’s obviously a religious/cultural thing and we respected that.

    But I DO find it weird how this is an issue.

    This guy Khan is all over the fricken TV. Suddenly, he’s lecturing. Not cool. If you’re in pain why do you continue to put yourself in the arena? You’ll only leave yourself to more scrutiny.

    1. The Khans are in so much pain they are aggressively exploiting the death of their son for political purposes to support the woman who voted for the war that killed him.

    2. My wife and I go to some urgent care clinic for our infant daughter who had a double ear infection. The doctor was a Muslim, refused to speak directly to my wife, refused to shake her hand, she would ask a question and he would answer to me. We said that we wanted a different doctor. The next (white proggy) doctor came in and told us that he doesn’t condone and will not take part in racial bigotry. Told us not to come back to that clinic again. I told him “inshallah”.

      1. Wow.

        Just. Wow.

        So he couldn’t see how problematic that was?

        1. It’s the golden age of progressive dumbfuckery.

      2. You showed remarkable restraint to the second doctor.

      3. Response: “my complaint is that your employees are sexually harassing my wife” (hostile environment == sexual harassment) “Since you obviously condone this behavior I guess I’ll have to file a complaint with the state regulator.”

  16. Here’s the thing. I don’t give a shit about what Trump said about Islam.

    Because until these so called “moderate” Muslims muzzle or shoot the god damned terrorist dogs in their midst, I’m not going to be sympathetic to them at all.

    Islam has a problem, it needs to reform or it needs to die out as a religion. This “tolerance”‘to Islam has already caused people to be killed and it’s not getting better in the face of wailing cries of Islamophobe!!! In both San Bernadino and Orlando, people either considered saying something and didn’t or said something and were ignored because of the left’s stout devotion to destroying Islamophobes. It got people killed.

    Am I Islamophobic? Hell yes, I hate that fuckin backwards worthless religion….

  17. Blah blah blah blah, Hillary sucks, Reason sucks, Trump is misunderstood and is a victim of media bias.

    There, all comments summarized regarding this election until November when Clinton crushes Trump easily.

    1. Remember when playing the victim was seen as weak and illegitimate political tactic?

    2. FUK U SJW FAGOT

  18. This harsh criticism, especially the fully justified suggestion that Trump is constitutionally illiterate, obviously rankled him.

    What I would like to see in the debates: “Secretary Clinton, Mr. Trump, welcome to the first Presidential Debate. The format of this debate will be a pop quiz on the Constitution. A coin flip has determined Secretary Clinton will go first. Here is your question ….”

  19. Trump, who thinks Khizr Khan “has no right” to question his respect for the Constitution, seems genuinely baffled by the idea that freedom of speech is a two-way street.

    That’s twice now, Sullum. Once can be attributed to a combination of bias and lack of comprehension, but twice, and after having been told, makes you deliberately obtuse. And this, when it could hardly be less necessary.

    Not that it isn’t somewhat interesting: over-playing your hand, as Obama does in suggesting that team red dump trump, gives off a definite and counter-productive whiff of desperation.

  20. Trump seems constitutionally incapable of admitting he was wrong or even moving on to another subject.

    Aside from the optics of it all that won’t win him voters, he’s not wrong and has nothing to apologize for. Fuck the Muslim parents of the dead Muslim soldier whose body they’re standing on to get into the spotlight.

  21. Khan: “Let me ask you: Have you even read the United States constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words liberty and equal protection of law.”

    except when it comes to Sharia law, then muslims and non-muslims are not treated equally, are they?

    1. Even his remark is a giant red herring. The United States has limited immigration and naturalization in various forms since at least 1790, and they’ve been upheld every single time by the Supreme Court. US law also allows the President to establish his own pre-determined limits via executive order for any reason whatsoever.

      If Trump decided to immediately suspend visas for all Muslim-majority countries, there isn’t a damn thing anyone could do to stop him short of impeachment, and the average government drone isn’t going to risk their job undermining the order. of course, those countries could do the same thing to us, but really, who gives a shit?

  22. If you happen to be running with a D after your name, you don’t have to respond to attacks because your bough and paid for media attack dogs will do it for you….

  23. Trump is the fantasy of millions of Americans who have to put up with insults on the job and can’t answer back.

    Here’s a guy who doesn’t have to worry about being fired, and he responds to insults with insults.

    Tribalism, of course, unlike the rational and coherent reasons for supporting Hillary.

  24. Trump seems constitutionally incapable

    aint that just what the brown-skin feller wuz sayin?

  25. each one of these articles adds more people to the silent glaring army of voters that will hand Trump a landslide in November

    and you can’t see it at all, can you?

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  27. “You’re not going to find me being critical of Mr. and Mrs. Khan no matter what,” said Gov. Chris Christie, a Trump supporter. “It’s just inappropriate for us in this context to be criticizing them, and I’m not going to participate in that.”

    Republicans are as good as, if not better than, Democrats when it comes to playing the victim card and Christie is utterly shameless in this respect. When called out for hugging Obama during the 2012 election he immediately pulled out his victim card and talked about the hugs he got from the families of the victims of the 9-11 attack.

    Even if Khan is a jerk who, if reports are true, believes the Constitution is subordinate to Sharia, his criticism of Trump’s Constitutional ignorance was completely valid. Suffering, even the most awful kind stemming from the death of a child, does not imbue the sufferer with special wisdom or the status of being beyond criticism.

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  29. Khizr Khan is of course free to denounce Trump on a political platform, but then he becomes part of the political platform for better or for worse.

    If we had a media, they would point out that Khizr Khan is an immigration lawyer who specializes in immigration from Muslim countries and opposes Trump’s plan to limit immigration from Muslim countries. Perhaps a conflict of interest?

    Khan has also said that the nasty Donald Trump has a “black soul” and “blackness of character”, using racist imagery that is not OK to African Americans.

    http://www.yahoo.com/news/trum…..00450.html

    All of this is fair game in a political debate. Khan has the right to say whatever he wants, and to be questioned for it.

  30. Khan claims that Trump does not understand the Constitution, but as an immigration lawyer should mention that the Immigration Act of 1952 gives the President the power to exclude “any class of people”. And Khan also has a history of writing favorably about Sharia law and implying that it will supersede the Constitution.

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/08…..haria-law/
    Quote: Khizr Khan … is an attorney who has previously written in a law journal about Islamic law. He specifically wrote about the purity of the Quran and the Sunnah over all other texts and interpretations.

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