Khizr Khan on Tuesday criticized the White House’s response to the ongoing scrutiny of President Donald Trump’s call to a U.S. soldier’s widow, and advised “dignity and restraint.”
“I have two words to say to the White House and to this President,” Khan, the father of a U.S. soldier killed in the Iraq War, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Dignity, most dignity and restraint. He is void of both.”
He said Trump’s “advisers should have written that on a piece of paper” and “put it in front of him: most dignity and restraint.”
Trump’s campaign attacked Khan and his family intermittently from July to October 2016 after Khan spoke against Trump’s candidacy at the Democratic National Convention last year.
Kelly last week brought Trump’s smear campaign against Khan back into the spotlight when he listed concepts that Kelly suggested were no longer “sacred.”
“Gold Star families, I think that left in the convention over the summer,” Kelly said from the White House podium, though it was unclear whether he was criticizing Khan for his remarks or Trump for his attacks on Khan, though his overall remarks were a defense of his boss.
Khan on Tuesday said Kelly “from the very first day” should have advised Trump on what to say to four bereaved families of U.S. soldiers killed in Niger.
“It should have been done from the get-go,” Khan said, “because he’s the closest to the President at this moment.”
He said Kelly “should have told him when he was advising him what to do, how to call.”
Khan said Kelly “knows the character” of the President he serves—a “lack of empathy, lack of decency”—and should have advised him to show “restraint.”
He also said Kelly should have exhibited restraint in his remarks from the White House briefing room.
“When he came to the press room, he should have refrained himself, making situation worse, and that was not done, unfortunately,” Khan said.
Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, one of the soldiers killed in the ambush in Niger, on Monday said Trump’s remarks made her “very angry.”
“The President said that he knew what he signed up for but it hurts anyway,” she said. “It made me cry because I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said it.”
“We owe tremendous respect, restraint and dignity to this wonderful lady,” Khan said of Myeshia Johnson. “My sympathies are with them.”
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