Gold Star father Khizr Khan said Thursday that recent reports claiming President Donald Trump called slain U.S. soldiers “losers” and “suckers” show he has the “soul of a coward” and is “not deserving to be the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States."
The Atlantic reported last week that Trump made the remarks when canceling a planned visit to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery outside Paris in 2018. According to The Atlantic, Trump said: “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” The article also claims that Trump called the 1,800 U.S. Marines who died at a nearby battlefield in World War I “suckers.”
The White House denied the president made these remarks, but multiple outlets have confirmed elements of The Atlantic’s reporting, including Fox News reporter Jennifer Griffin.
This is not the first time Trump has made disparaging remarks about people who have served in the military. While on the campaign trail in 2015, Trump said he did not believe Sen. John McCain was a war hero. “He's not a war hero,” Trump said at the time. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured." McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for five and a half years.
Khan and his wife, Ghazala Khan, gained national attention after they spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2016. Khan said in his speech that Trump had “sacrificed nothing and no one,” for his country. The Khans’ son, Army Captain Humayun Khan, was killed in Iraq in 2004.
After the Khans’ speech, Trump made belittling and Islamophobic remarks about both of them to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “If you look at his wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say, she probably — maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say, you tell me.” Trump said.
Speaking to Greater Boston host Jim Braude on Thursday, Khan said that he was “saddened” to hear that Trump disparaged soldiers. “According to Trump, winners in life are those that put themselves before all,” Khan said.