Several Gold Star families have expressed how furious they were with President Joe Biden at the dignified transfer of the remains of 13 service members on Sunday.
Not only did many feel his botched withdrawal from Afghanistan led to their loved ones’ deaths, but they also noted that Biden seemed aloof, and self-absorbed, repeating stories about the loss of his own son from brain cancer, or — shockingly — checking his watch, as if he could not wait for these encounters to end.
Bidens appalling treatment of families whose loved ones had just died in the service of the country — and on a mission that would not have been necessary had he managed the withdrawal competently– stands in stark contrast to how President Donald Trump comforted the families of the fallen.
At Trump’s first address to Congress in 2017, he comforted Carryn Owens, widow of U.S. Navy Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens, who was the first to die in combat in his administration. There was hardly a dry eye in the House chamber — or among the millions who watched Trump’s touching gesture on TV.
And yet the media continued to tell America that Trump had contempt for Gold Star families. It was a false narrative that they had spun ever since Khizr Khan denounced then-candidate Trump from the stage at the 2016 Democratic National convention. Trump responded — after being prodded to do so by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. We were then told that President Trump had been disrespectful in a phone call to the widow of another soldier — a claim disputed by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly, who lost his own son in combat. (A Democratic member of Congress, bizarrely, had been on the call.)
In the 2020 election, the Atlantic claimed Trump had referred to dead soldiers as “suckers and losers.” The story was never corroborated, and was denied even by former Trump officials who had broken with the president. But it became an article of faith in the media, and a line in Joe Biden‘s stump speech, with the alleged insult exaggerated for maximum effect.
The media told us that Biden would have greater empathy for the troops. And yet it was Biden who turned our troops into fodder for the enemy, forcing them to guard an indefensible position. And then, face-to-face with the families of the fallen, he did not have the decency to listen to them. The man who promised empathy offered nothing but cold indifference.
Khizr Khan’s son was a hero. But his attack on Trump was a contrived narrative that colored media coverage of President Trump for the next four years, even though he was beloved by many Gold Star families. Some of the families of the fallen last week said they believed their sons and daughters would be alive if Trump were still in office.
Let the media bear the shame of this moment: they created the lie that Biden actually cared, that he meant it when he said leave “no one behind.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.