WASHINGTON – Donald Trump wants to set the record straight about his interview with ABC News “This Week” in which he has been accused of diminishing the sacrifice of Humayun Khan, a Muslim U.S. soldier killed in Iraq, with others.
Trump Saturday night called Khan “a hero,” urged vigilance in defeating radical Islamic terrorism and attacked Hillary, again, for destabilizing the Middle East with her policies as secretary of state.
At the Democratic convention, Khan’s father, Khizr Khan, had leveled criticism at Trump in support of Clinton for president.
“Captain Humayun Khan was a hero to our country and we should honor all who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe,” Trump said in his statement. “The real problems here are the radical Islamic terrorists who killed him, and the efforts of these radicals to enter our country to do us further harm. Given the state of the world today, we have to know everything about those looking to enter our country, and given the state of chaos in some of these countries, that is impossible. While I feel deeply for the loss of his son, Mr. Khan who has never met me, has no right to stand in front of millions of people and claim I have never read the Constitution, (which is false) and say many other inaccurate things. If I become president, I will make America safe again.”
Trump continued: “Further, Hillary Clinton should be held accountable for her central role in destabilizing the Middle East. She voted to send the United States to war against Iraq, helped lead the disastrous withdrawal of American troops years later that created the vacuum allowing the rise of ISIS, and has never met a regime change she didn’t like (which have all been disasters) – not to mention her invasion of Libya and her abandonment of American personnel in Benghazi. The loss of these lives in Libya is directly traceable to Clinton, but their families’ testimonials were rejected by the media. Clinton’s actions have been reckless and have directly led to the loss of American lives. And her extreme immigration policies, as also laid out by American victims in Cleveland, will cause the preventable deaths of countless more – while putting all residents, from all places, at greater risk of terrorism. As Bernie Sanders said on numerous occasions, Hillary Clinton suffers from ‘bad judgement.’ She is not qualified to serve as commander in chief.”
Below is the full, unedited transcript of Trump’s interview with George Stephanopoulos On “This Week.”
STEPHANOPOULOS: I don’t know if you saw this speech, but there was a man named Khizr Khan speaking at the Democratic Convention last night. His son, Captain Humayun Khan, was killed serving in Iraq. And he had some very tough questions for you. He said you wouldn’t have even let his son in America.
TRUMP: He doesn’t know. He doesn’t know that. I saw him. He was, you know, very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me. His wife, 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. But plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet. And it looked like she had nothing to say. A lot of people have said that. And personally, I watched him. I wish him the best of luck.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What would you say to that father?
TRUMP: Well, I’d say we’ve had a lot of problems with radical Islamic terrorism. That’s what I’d say. We have a lot of problems, where you look at San Bernardino. You look at Orlando. You look at the World Trade Center. You look at so many different things.
You look at what happened to the priest over the weekend in Paris, where his throat was cut, 85-year-old, beloved Catholic priest. You look at what happened in Nice, France, a couple of weeks ago. I’d say you’ve got to take a look at that, because something is going on. And it’s not good.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He said you have sacrificed nothing and no one.
TRUMP: Well, that sounds — who wrote that? Did Hillary’s scriptwriters write it? Because everybody that went out there, we also had John Allen who failed with ISIS. I mean, he was a general, Allen, General Allen. He went out. And he was ranting and raving. And then I read a report. He was in there for a number of months. And he failed with ISIS.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You saw Hillary say last night, you don’t know more than the generals.
TRUMP: Well, I’ll tell you, the generals aren’t doing so well right now. Now, I have a feeling it may be Obama’s fault. But if you look at ISIS … General McArthur and General Patton, they’re spinning in their graves. The generals certainly aren’t doing very well right now. And General Allen, after I saw he was on ranting and raving about me, who he never met, I checked up. Guess what. They weren’t so happy with him. He didn’t beat ISIS. He didn’t beat ISIS. He didn’t do even well with ISIS.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How would you answer that father? What sacrifice have you made for your country?
TRUMP: I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve done, I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Those are sacrifices?
TRUMP: Oh, sure. I think they’re sacrifices. I think when I can employ thousands and thousands of people, take care of their education, take care of so many things, even in military. I mean, I was very responsible, along with a group of people, for getting the Vietnam Memorial built in downtown Manhattan, which to this day people thank me for.
I raised, and I have raised, millions of dollars for the vets. I’m helping the vets a lot. I think my popularity with the vets is through the roof, far greater than hers. She’s done nothing. All she’s done is tell everybody that the vets are in good shape. They’re fine. And they’re not fine. People are waiting on line for seven days to see a doctor. She thinks it’s fine.