After Donald Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson blamed President Obama for U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan’s death in 2004, when George W. Bush was President, she issued what may be the closest thing to a public apology she’s ever given for those heated remarks.
In a CNN interview Tuesday night, the Trump campaign’s go-to attack dog said Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “changed the rules of engagements that probably cost [Khan’s] life,” attempting to deflect criticism from her boss’ disparaging remarks about Khan’s family.
Given the opportunity to apologize the next morning on the same network, Pierson said grudgingly, “apologize for the timeline,” before launching into another full-throated defense of Trump.
“Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq. She did not support the surge. Barack Obama made things worst by invading more countries than President Bush did,” she said.
When CNN’s Alisyn Camerota again pointed out that Khan was killed during Bush’s administration, Pierson fired back: “But Donald Trump wasn’t there! That is the only point. Donald Trump is being blamed for something he had nothing to do with, and he did not attack this family.”
Trump has for days attacked the Khan family for “viciously” maligning him at the Democratic National Convention.
Camerota’s co-host, John Berman, asked Pierson again if she acknowledged that she was wrong to blame Obama and Clinton for “probably” causing Khan’s death in the line of duty.
“Well, absolutely. That’s why I used probably, because I was just going through the timeline,” she replied, before insisting that Trump “did not vote for that war, period.”
Trump was not an elected official in the run-up to the Iraq invasion and, as a civilian, couldn’t vote to authorize military action. Yet the real estate mogul has repeatedly claimed he was against the invasion, despite previously saying he supported the war.
When she first appeared on the political scene, Pierson quickly gained a reputation for being a genuinely unflappable flack, capable of pushing her pro-Trump talking points even when they flew in the face of the facts of a situation.
After she blamed Obama and Clinton for Capt. Khan’s death, Twitter users resurfaced some racially charged and 9/11 truther tweets from her account with the hashtag #KatrinaPiersonHistory. The aide responded by flaunting her work for Trump with a smiling photo of herself and that same hashtag.
Watch the exchange below via CNN: