WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will host Gold Star families at the White House on Monday, an event that comes almost a year after Trump infamously got into a back-and-forth with a Gold Star family during the 2016 campaign.
Trump’s contentious back-and-forth with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, died in Iraq in 2004, was a flashpoint during the 2016 election and earned then-candidate Trump scorn from many Republicans and Democrats alike.
After the Khans appeared at the Democratic National Convention and challenged Trump’s understanding of the United States Constitution, Trump derided the Khan family in an interview with ABC.
“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,” Trump said in the interview. Ghazala Khan did not speak during the DNC speech.
Trump stood by his attacks on the Khan family, which elevated Khizr Khan into a nationally known Democratic activist.
“I don’t regret anything,” Trump told WJLA, a local news station in Virginia. “I said nice things about the son and I feel that very strongly, but of course I was hit very hard from the stage and you know it’s just one of those things. But no, I don’t regret anything.”
The controversy was one of the most trying of Trump’s presidential campaign, but the businessman-turned-president eventually weathered the storm and won the White House.
A White House official declined to provide extensive details about Monday’s event.
“Tonight the President is going to pay personal tribute to Gold Star families who have lost a son, daughter, parent, sibling or spouse in the service of our country,” the official said.
The event is closed to the press.