Mom of Slain Marine Snubs Biden for Trump: I Want 'to Meet the Real President'
Mother of fallen hero Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui refuses to meet with Democrat
The mother of a slain U.S. marine, who was killed in the Kabul terrorist attack last month, has snubbed a meeting with Democrat Joe Biden, insisting that she wants to instead "meet the real president of the United States of America" - Donald Trump.
Shana Chappell’s son Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui was one of 13 US service members killed on August 26 in the bomb blast at the Abbey Gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport.
She addressed "my President" Trump in a Facebook post, writing: “I would love if some how [sic] my President ( you Mr. Trump) could be present as i [sic] lay my Beautiful baby boy Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui to rest.
“It would be such an honor to meet the real President of the United States of America, President Trump,” she continued.
“I love you and America loves you.”
“Thank you Shana,” Trump responded in a statement from his Save America PAC on Labor Day.
"Our Country loves you and especially loves your beautiful boy, Kareem,” Trump told the mother of the fallen hero.
It was not immediately clear whether he would attend the funeral service for Nikoui, which is scheduled for Sept. 18.
Chappell has been vocal in blaming Biden for the 13 troops killed during the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, writing in another Facebook post: "THE BLOOD OF ALL 13 OF THESE HEROES IS ON YOUR HANDS!!!"
"This is not something B!d3n [sic] and the rest of his corrupt administration can talk their way out of and make disappear!!" she wrote.
"This will not be forgotten!!!!!"
Nikoui's funeral service, which will be open to the public, is scheduled for September 18 at the Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California.
Trump previously responded to Chappell's remarks in a statement on his website, after she had posted on Facebook accusing Biden of rolling his eyes at her when she confronted him during the dignified transfer at Dover Air Base.
"Shana, you are 100% correct," Trump wrote.
"If I were President, your wonderful and beautiful son Kareem would be with you now, and so would the sons and daughters of others, including all of those who died in the vicious Kabul airport attack.
"Civilians should have been brought out first, along with our $85 billion of equipment, with the Military coming out very safely after all was clear.
"I love you, and I love Kareem," he added.
Last week, Chappell's Instagram account was temporarily disabled after she publicly blamed Biden for her son's death.
A Facebook spokesperson has since claimed that it was deleted "incorrectly" but refused to say how the "mistake" came about.
Chappell, as well as Nikoui's father Steve Nikoui, are not the only Gold Star families to speak out with harsh words for Biden.
In addition to Nikoui, also killed in the August 26 attack were Navy corpsman Max Soviak, Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss, and Marines Hunter Lopez, Rylee McCollum, David Lee Espinoza, Jared Schmitz, Daegan Page, Taylor Hoover, Humberto Sanchez, Johanny Rosario, Dylan Merola, and Nicole Gee.
It saw a suicide bomber blow himself up close to Hamid Karzai International Airport's Abbey Gate, with ISIS-K gunmen subsequently opening fire on panicked survivors as they tried to flee.
The US service personnel and 159 civilians were killed, with more than 150 others injured by the blast.
In a Tuesday interview on Fox News's "The Ingraham Angle," Paula Knauss, mother of the late Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss, demanded that someone "stand up and say they will be accountable" for the botched withdrawal that led to the death of her son.
Addressing Biden on the show, she said, "Please give me a call and let me know how I could sleep tonight – a full night – because my son . . . didn't make it home and it is on your watch because he was doing his job well and he counted on you to tell the troops what your desire was and he followed through with your desires.
"So it is on you to tell me."
Knauss, 23, of Tennessee, told his mother that he volunteered to join the evacuation mission in Afghanistan and that it was bound to be chaotic, but he would be home in "no time."
Instead, however, Paula got a dreaded call letting her know her son died in the ISIS-K attack.
"The president of the United States has the ability to help our troops, have enough men and women to stay safe," she said.
"In all of our history, in all of the time that we have been fighting, where did you leave these men and women but at one airport, one location, one gate to funnel thousands through?
"And who did you trust?
"You trusted our enemy to allow who would come through.
"What is anyone in this great nation think when they think what would happen?
"No one has to have a military background to know that that was not gonna go down well."
She added, "There should have been a better way of helping our armed branches get those people who are American out safely and still lose no man or woman in uniform or in Afghanistan.
"It should never have happened the way it did.
"Who is accountable for this?
"Who will stand up and say that they will be accountable for the death of 13 young men and women?"
Joe Biden begrudgingly made his trip to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware last weekend as the caskets of the 13 service members killed in the attack were brought back to the United States.
He stood in silence, his right hand to his chest, as a succession of flag-draped transfer coffins were carried past him from a C-17 Globemaster plane.
But during the ceremony, Biden appeared to jerk his left arm up and look down at his watch, drawing criticism.
Family members in attendance said he checked his watch after "every single [casket] came out of that airplane"
"They would release the salute, and he would look down at his watch on every last one, all 13, he looked down at his watch," Mark Schmitz, the father of Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz, said.
"As a father, you know, seeing that and the disrespect..."
"Considering especially the time and why we were there, I found it to be the most disrespectful thing I've ever seen," said Schmitz.