CNN's Jeffrey Lord Defends Trump's Attacks On Khan Family: “This Is Politics”

Lord: By Speaking At The Democratic Convention, The Khan Family Was “Opening Themselves Up To Disagreement"

From the August 1 edition of CNN's New Day:

POPPY HARLOW (HOST): Jeffrey Lord, as a Trump supporter, to what General Hertling just said, and we read the letter from the Gold Star families demanding an apology from Donald Trump, your response? 

JEFFREY LORD: Yeah, this is politics. I hate to say this -- and let me make very clear, Captain Khan obviously, obviously was an American hero. But to be perfectly candid, any time anybody, anybody, the Khans or anyone else, stands in front of a Democratic or Republican National Convention and delivers a political attack against a candidate, they are opening themselves up to disagreement. And that's what's happened. It's nothing more than that. 

HARLOW: So, the question -- the question, Jeffrey -- well, it is more than that, because this is the life of a fallen American soldier --

LORD: No, Poppy, I'm afraid not. 

MARK HERTLING: It is definitely more than that, Jeffrey. It is more than politics, it is leadership. 

HARLOW: And it is more than that in terms of how it has affected these other families. There are over 470,000 Gold Star families in this country right now. And I don't know their loss, many of us don't know their loss. So it's more than politics, isn't it, Jeffrey Lord? 

LORD: No, Poppy, Poppy, when anybody, anybody, Gold Star or not, gets up and attacks a presidential candidate at a national convention, that is politics. Mr. Khan, and I listened to him this morning, is giving Donald Trump political lectures. I have my copy of the Constitution too. He is well within his rights to do so. Donald Trump is well within his rights to respond. You don't get to do this and then say, “oh, no, you can't attack me, I'm off limits. I'm sorry.” Your very presence there signifies otherwise. You are in a leadership position when you are making an attack on a presidential candidate at a national convention. That's just a fact.

HARLOW: At what point, Jeffrey Lord, is it a bridge too far? The feud is continuing on Twitter this morning, we just had a tweet from Donald Trump saying, again, he's being “viciously attacked.” What does it get him --

LORD: The best way to do this is just stop doing it. Why him? Why is Mr. Khan on CNN? Why is he on CBS? Why is he on ABC? I mean, he's the one who's continuing this. Stop, stop. If he doesn't want to be in the spotlight, stop.

HARLOW: General Hertling?

HERTLING: I think what you're seeing is Mr. Trump is continuing it too with continued attacks. I agree with Jeffrey that certainly Mr. Khan entered the political arena. But when you're talking about a potential commander in chief, they have to show some leadership traits and not react as Mr. Trump has reacted on multiple occasions to these kind of things. And truthfully, from what I can see, I go back to the word “trust,” Poppy. There is a generation of trust between a leader and the led, and that's a critical aspect of any candidate, someone running for office. They have to generate that trust. And what we're seeing is a continued drum beat against that generation of trust with the American people and with those that support the military. There is a continued emphasis on insulting people, deraigning people, having everyone from Mr. Khan, to Senator McCain, to me personally, to others who have said, “here's what the military can do, here's what they should do, and here's the kind of trust that we impart in our political leaders that you have to establish that civil-military relationship.” That, obviously, is not in place right now, and Mr. Trump doesn't understand it.


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