Trump campaign manager Paul Manfort begged credulity earlier Sunday, when he told CNN's Jake Tapper that he was unaware of an offensive statement made by Carl Paladino, the real estate developer and failed politician who serves as co-chair of Trump's New York campaign. (Paladino lost the New York gubernatorial election by 30 points in 2010, and presently serves on the Buffalo school board.)
Earlier in the week, Paladino had told Don Imus this:
"All right, I don't care if he's a Gold Star parent... He certainly doesn't deserve that title, OK, if he's as anti-American as he's illustrated in his speeches and in his discussion. I mean, if he's a member of the Muslim Brotherhood or supporting, you know, the ISIS-type of attitude against America, there's no reason for Donald Trump to have to honor this man."
While Manafort told Tapper earlier in their interview he had trouble hearing his questions, Manafort was asked directly about Paladino's quote as Tapper's last question:
The co-chairman of Donald Trump's New York campaign, Carl Paladino, said this week that Khizr Kahn does not deserve to called a gold star parent, even though his son died fighting for the U.S. in Iraq, heroically. Because, in the words of your New York co-chair, Carl Paladino, "Mr. Khan supports this ISIS-type of attitude against America. Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer responded to Mr. Paladino, saying: "The Khans gave the ultimate sacrifice--their only son--to our nation in the War on Terror. To attack them and claim that they somehow 'don't deserve' to be called Gold Star parents is a slap in the face to everyone who has served in the military." Do you think that by having Mr. Paladino continue to serve as your New York co-chair, you are dishonoring the military?
Here's Manafort's response:
MANAFORT: Look, I, I, I, I'll follow up on that. I'm not sure what he said. I hear you saying that..., I know that I am concerned that the father of the Pulse cabaret murderer who killed a number of gays, gays in Florida two months ago was sittin' in the VIP section of Hillary Clinton's speech last week in Florida. That concerns me, wondering how he could get into that kind of speech. He's an avowed, uh, Islamic, uh, radical and that, uh, that concerns me. She's totally ignored that fact. TAPPER: Alright. You didn't address the question at all, but that's all the time we've got. MANAFORT: Well, I don't know about the quote. I don't know about the quote. I'll have to check into the situation. Certainly Mr. Trump has made it very clear that, uh, he recognizes the sacrifices of all Gold Star parents, uh, and he... he empathized for that loss and he talked about the importance of, uh, having a policy that will reduce the risk of terrorist threats in America and around the world. TAPPER: Okay. MANAFORT: And this week we'll be talking about that. TAPPER: Mr. Paladino, your New York co-chair, is, uh, attacking a Gold Star family. So you might want to look into that. Thank you so much, I really appreciate it.
You can watch video of the exchange below.