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Gold Star Parents Recount Biden’s Callous Response to Death of Service Members

09-01-2021
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President Joe Biden speaks about Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The mother of one of the U.S. Marines killed by the suicide bomber at the Kabul airport is rebuking President Joe Biden for his callous response to her grief during their meeting.

In a Facebook post, Shana Chappell — mother of the late Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui — is the latest Gold Star parent to chastise the president, claiming he rolled his eyes at her when she turned away his attempts to sympathize with her. She also claimed Biden walked away from her when she expressed her belief that he is responsible for her son’s death.

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“Joe Biden, this [message] is for you,” she wrote. “I know my face is etched into your brain. I was able to look you straight in the eyes yesterday and have words with you.”

She continued:

"Remember I am the one who stood [five] inches from your face and was letting you know I would never get to hug my son again, hear his laugh and then you tried to interrupt me and give me your own sob story and I had to tell you “that this isn’t about you so don’t make it about you!!!” You then said you just wanted me to know that you know how I feel and I let you know that you don’t know how I feel and you do not have the right to tell me you know how I feel! [You] then rolled your [expletive] eyes in your head like you were annoyed with me and I let you know that the only reason I was talking to you was out of respect for my son and that was the only reason why. I then proceeded to tell you again how you took my son away from me and how I will never get to hug him, kiss him, laugh with him again, etc… [You] turned to walk away and I let you know my son's blood was on your hands and you threw your hand up behind you as you walked away from me like you were saying, 'OK, whatever!!!'”

Chappell went on to call Biden a “weak human being” and a “traitor.”

The wife of the fallen Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum said the president made the grief worse by offering only a “scripted and shallow” statement. The family condemned Biden for his “total disregard to the loss of our Marine,” a 20-year-old father-to-be, according to The Washington Post.

Julio Rosas, a journalist for Townhall, reported that sources close to some of the Gold Star families who met with the president said: “more than one of the families did not even want Biden to attend the dignified transfers.”

The father of the late Marine Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover told Fox News's Sean Hannity he and his family did not want anything to do with Biden.

“We didn’t want to deal with him,” he said. “We didn’t want him anywhere near us. We as a family decided that was the way it was going to be.”

Like the other Gold Star families, the father of the late Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz said Biden centered much of the conversation on his own son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015.

Mark Schmitz said the president bristled when he told him to learn the stories of the 13 service members who died in Kabul amid the chaotic exit from Afghanistan.

The Washington Post’s Matt Viser reported, “Eventually, the parents took out a photo to show Biden. I said, ‘Don’t you ever forget that name. Don’t you ever forget that face. Don’t you ever forget the name of the other 12,’ Schmitz said. ‘And take some time to learn their stories.’ Biden did not see to like that, Schmitz recalled, and her bristled, offering a blunt response: ‘I do know their stories.’”

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