Donald Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson admitted her “timeline” was off when she suggested that President Obama and Hillary Clinton were somehow to blame for the death of U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who died in Iraq in 2004 — when George W. Bush was commander in chief.
“What I was talking about is Donald Trump has no connection with anything to do with Capt. Khan,” Pierson said on CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday morning. “Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq. She did not support the surge. Barack Obama made things worse by invading more countries than President Bush did.”
“Donald Trump wasn’t there,” she added. “That was the only point. Donald Trump is being blamed for something he had nothing to do with.”
During a discussion with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer the night before, Pierson was asked if her boss had any plans to apologize to the Khan family for suggesting that Ghazala Khan, Humayun’s grieving mother, was not “allowed” to speak at last week’s Democratic National Convention because she is Muslim.
“What exactly is Mr. Trump supposed to be apologizing for?” Pierson asked. “It was under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that changed the rules of engagements that probably cost his life.”
The gaffe went viral overnight, as a hashtag (#KatrinaPiersonHistory) mocking her grasp of history began trending on Twitter.
— EGCollins (@EGCollins) August 3, 2016
According to Trump spox Katrina Pierson, were it not for President Obama’s failed policies, Abraham Lincoln would still be alive.
— RUSS BENGT$ON (@russbengtson) August 2, 2016
— Scott Wooledge (@Clarknt67) August 3, 2016
“We would have won the Vietnam War if it wasn’t for Obama” – Katrina Pierson
— Just Maybe (@ShomahKhoobi) August 3, 2016
Obama knew about that iceberg but didn’t warn the captain of the Titanic #KatrinaPiersonHistory
— Tara Rodham Dublin (@taradublinrocks) August 3, 2016
Pierson even used the hashtag herself.
— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) August 3, 2016
But it backfired.
— Scott Allen Cooper (@ScottPCooper) August 3, 2016
— Rana (@heartsandroses9) August 3, 2016
The war of words between Trump and the Khans began at last week’s Democratic National Convention, where Khizr Khan delivered a stinging rebuke of Trump over his call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States — a policy that would have prevented his son from serving in the U.S. military.
“Donald Trump, you’re asking Americans to trust you with their future,” Khan said. “Let me ask you: Have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. … Look for the words liberty and equal protection of law.”
Khizr Khan said Pierson’s comments were another example of a “lack of factual correctness” among Trump’s surrogates.
“Please, show some decency,” Khan said on CNN Tuesday following Pierson, a frequent guest on cable news.
On Wednesday, Pierson admitted she was “absolutely” wrong to assert Obama and Clinton’s actions cost Khan his life.
“That’s why I used ‘probably,‘” she said. “I was just going through the timeline. Because since then, we have had tens of thousands of soldiers that have been lost, 1 million wounded. Six trillion dollars later, how can we possibly put any of the onus on Donald Trump? It’s absolutely absurd, and that’s why you see so much confusion around this issue.”
“But no one was blaming Donald Trump for Captain Khan’s death,” CNN’s Alisyn Camerota said. “You were blaming President Obama and he wasn’t president yet.”