Brian Stelter sat down with Trump's Assistant Communications Director, Jason Miller, to discuss the latest major disgraceful thing his boss has said. For those not caught up, Trump insulted and belittled the Gold Star parents of a deceased Muslim American soldier who was killed in battle in 2004 while fighting for our country. You know, an act of selflessness that Trump himself avoided 5 times because his delicate little body had "bone spurs."
Stelter really held Miller to the fire. Every time he tried to talk his way out of answering questions directly, Stetler pushed harder. It was excellent journalism.
Here is some of the transcript:
STELTER: I think what many political pros, as I mentioned, are wondering why has Donald Trump need to respond to Khan, rather than either staying quiet, allowing Mr. Khan to speak without being challenged or to acknowledge more forthrightly the pain this family is going through?
MILLER: Well, let me go and correct you on that point, Brian. Mr. Trump has praised Mr. Khan and, in fact, has called Captain Khan as a hero. But, look, let's be clear about what's going on here, is that this is --
STELTER: That happened after the fact, though. That's happened in a statement last night.
MILLER: In the ABC interview, Mr. Trump praised Mr. Khan.
STELTER: He called Mr. Khan a nice guy.
MILLER: Yes, he praised Mr. Khan.
But, again, Brian, let's get back to what's going on here, the fact this is about radical Islamic terrorism and what we have to do as a country to make sure that our borders are safe, and to make sure that we're screening people who are coming into this country. That's the larger debate that's going on here.
STELTER: That's not what Mr. Khan's speech was about on Thursday. Let me put on screen a statement from Mr. Trump last night. He seemed to be trying to clean up the ABC interview.
In the statement last night, Trump said the following, he said that Mr. Khan has no right to speak the way he did on stage. Let me get the exact quote, because I don't want to misquote Mr. Trump. Let's see if we can put it on the screen here.
He said that, Mr. Trump, "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 that I have never read the Constitution, which is false and say many other inaccurate things."
The First Amendment to the Constitution allows Mr. Khan the right to stand on stage and say whatever wants. Why would Mr. Trump say he doesn't have that right?
MILLER: That's not what Mr. Trump is saying at all. What he's saying
Miller tried to backtrack, hard and fast.
STELTER: That's what the statement said.
MILLER: What he's saying is that Mr. Trump has a right to defend himself, to make clear what he's saying is this is about Islamic terrorism, for him to be criticized like that he didn't think was fair.
So, let's get back to the broader point here, the fact that media completely let --
Stetler was not letting him off the hook that easy and pulled a solid "let me show you the receipts" move.
STELTER: Let's not -- let's put the statement back on screen, the statement on screen says Mr. Khan has no right to say what he said. You and I, Jason, we both know Mr. Khan has the right to say whatever we want to say, right?
MILLER: Brian, Mr. Khan -- this is about, again, this is about radical Islamic terrorism, and this is about what's really going on here, and the fact that the media doesn't want to pick up and cover what's going on with this country. I mean, where was the media outrage following Cleveland when he had supporters and survivors of those who either have been hurt or killed by illegal aliens in this country? There's no media outrage following that. But again, what we're talking about here is radical Islamic terrorism and that's what's important.
STELTER: You keep mentioning radical Islamic terrorism when I mention Mr. Khan. Why do you keep responding that way when I mentioned him?
Yes! Yes, Brian, thank you. This has nothing, zero, zilch to do with radical Islamic terrorism. Trying to link a Muslim American soldier to terrorism is disgusting beyond comprehension.
MILLER: Because that's what the broader debate that we're having. The broader debate that we're having is about the screening and the vetting that we're having for people who are coming into this country, about --
STELTER: But that has nothing to do with this family, with this Muslim American family.
Major props for not letting Miller slither away with trying to push this false narrative. Excellent work, Brian.