The Slatest

Trump Spokeswoman Suggests Obama Was Responsible for Humayun Khan’s 2004 Death in Iraq

The Trump campaign’s quest to make sure everyone in the United States is offended by Donald Trump’s insulting behavior toward the bereaved parents of Army Capt. Humayun Khan continued in earnest on Tuesday night. In an appearance on CNN’s Situation Room, campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson made the curious assertion that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama—who were, at the time, a senator from New York and a state senator from Illinois—were responsible for Khan’s June 8, 2004, death in Iraq. Video is above; here’s the transcript (grammatical errors are verbatim):

[Hillary Clinton] didn’t support the troops to have what they need. It was under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that changed the rules of engagement that probably cost [Khan’s] life. So I don’t understand why it is so hard to understand why Donald Trump was confused about why he was being held responsible for something he had nothing to do with while Hillary Clinton had everything to do with.

Hmm. It’s not an airtight case, I don’t think. (Here’s more on the conservative theory that President Obama hindered the U.S. military’s effectiveness by changing its rules of engagement.) (In 2009.) (Please note that the Washington Times article I linked to quotes an alleged expert named Wayne Simmons, who was later revealed to be—in the words of the U.S. attorney who successfully prosecuted Simmons for fraud—“a convicted felon with no military or intelligence experience.”) Extra shame points for CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, who engaged with a guest making perhaps the most laughably insane argument ever presented by a major-party presidential campaign by blinking a few times and then cutting to a commercial. Wolf! Look alive, man!

Read more Slate coverage of the 2016 campaign.