When asked on Wednesday if he should have apologized to the Khan family for his attacks, Donald Trump repeated his claim from the second presidential debate that Captain Humayun Khan would be alive if he were president.
“I have great respect for the Khan family, I have great respect for — I mean, the son is a great hero,” Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an excerpt published Wednesday night. “But if I were president at that time, Captain Khan would be alive today, George, because I wouldn’t have been in Iraq.”
Stephanopoulos pushed back, noting that Trump initially supported the Iraq War. But Trump insisted that he’s always opposed the war.
However, when asked by Howard Stern in 2002 if he supported the war, Trump replied, “Yeah I guess so.”
Trump told Stephanopoulos on Wednesday that his 2002 comment “was way before the war started, and that was the first time I was ever even asked about Iraq.”
Khizr Khan, the father of Humayun Khan who has spoken out against Trump, told ABC on Wednesday that Trump’s comment was “the most cruel thing you can say to grieving parents.”
“There’s no sincerity in those remarks. He utters these words totally oblivious to the understanding of where we are, where we stand, what our values are, and how to express — how to be empathetic. 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,” Khan told ABC News. “And this person totally lacks that.”