Donald Trump Claimed Ghazala Khan Didn't Speak About Her Son, And That Was Entirely Wrong
Republican nominee Donald J. Trump has crossed yet another line of taste, decency, and basic humanity. Sure, this may not be much for him ― he's already proven willing to go almost anywhere and say almost anything when he's challenged, and he clearly doesn't feel constrained by the opinions of the political press. But on Saturday, he did something that's sparked widespread revulsion: Donald Trump smeared Ghazala Khan, the wife of DNC speaker Khizr Khan, and mother of slain soldier Captain Humayun Khan.
Specifically, in an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on Saturday morning, Trump noted that she hadn't spoken about her son ― she remained silent during her husband's DNC speech, standing by his side on the stage ― and suggested she might not have been "allowed to have anything to say."
The implication was pretty clear. Trump was seemingly playing on stereotypes about the role of women within the Islamic faith, trying to deflect from Khizr Khan's scathing indictment of his anti-Muslim rhetoric and proposals by saying 'hey, that guy's domineering his wife!' It was an attack that's been met with nearly universal disgust, outside of the ranks of Trump supporters, obviously ― one of those rare times when liberals and conservatives can truly come together.
Make no mistake, in addition to being wildly inhumane, what Trump claimed on Saturday morning wasn't even true. Ghazala Khan has spoken about her son, voicing her own thoughts and feelings on the matter on Friday night when she and her husband were guests on MSNBC's Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. Khizr delivered what he called the "second half" of his speech that he couldn't give at the DNC, and Ghazala explained that she's still so wounded and heartbroken by her son's death that it's hard to speak about. Here's what she said, periodically choking up throughout.
First of all, I thank all Americans who listened from their heart. To my husband's and my heart, and I'm so grateful for that. I was very nervous, because I cannot see my son's picture and I cannot even come in the room where his pictures are. And that's why when I saw the picture on my back, I couldn't take it, and I controlled myself at that time. So, it is very hard.
In other words: Donald J. Trump, ladies and gentlemen! Not only did he decide to go on the attack in response to Khzir's stirring and haunting DNC speech, by smearing the mother of a slain war hero with his usual brand of suggestive, anti-Muslim xenophobia and stereotyping, he was also dead wrong on the facts! Cruelty and factual inaccuracy are a hell of a duo.
Simply put, Ghazala Khan sure didn't seem wary or forbidden from speaking on Friday night. She simply sounded like someone who didn'treally want the world to see her grief on display on that sprawling convention stage. And, even in simply explaining that experience, she's now shown a vastly more human side of herself than anything we've seen from the Republican standard-bearer so far.