Gold Star mom Karen Vaughn recalled a story Thursday on CNN of President Obama using her son’s casket as a photo opportunity when the families of the fallen soldiers present asked him not to bring any cameras.
Vaughn talked with host Ana Cabrera about the recent controversy between Donald Trump and the Khan family. Trump recently criticized the Khan family after Khizr Khan, the father of a slain Muslim American soldier, spoke out against the Republican nominee’s proposed Muslim ban at the Democratic National Convention. Khizr’s wife, Ghazala, stood silent while he spoke, and Trump later insinuated she was not allowed to speak.
Vaughn said she is grateful for the Khan family’s sacrifice but was not offended by Trump’s comments.
"I heard you say you weren’t offended by Trump’s comments reacting to the Khan family and what really created a bit of a controversy from people on both sides of the aisle. Is that what I heard correctly?" Cabrera asked.
Vaughn recounted a story about her experience as the mother of a fallen U.S. solider and said, ‘Words don’t mean as much to me as actions."
"When my son was killed, he was killed in the largest loss of life in the history of naval special warfare, and we had 30 families at Dover Air Base waiting for our sons’ bodies to be returned from Afghanistan," Vaugh said.
She explained that the 30 grieving families present asked Obama to leave the media at home during the arrival of the caskets.
"What we experienced there is the families unanimously asked Barack Obama to not bring any media, to not make this a media event, that he was welcome to be with us but no media," she said.
Obama did not respect their wishes and used the situation as a photo op, according to Vaughn.
"He showed up with cameras, and the next day our pictures or his picture saluting the caskets of our boys was plastered over every outlet in America I guess," Vaughn recalled.
Vaughn then compared her situation to the parents of those who lost their children in the 2012 Benghazi terror attacks.
"The outrage over Hillary Clinton still to date insinuating those grieving parents who say she said one thing must be mistaken. You know it’s just actions mean a lot more to me than words. That’s just kind of the angle I come from on it, and I have full respect for the Khan family," she said.