We all know how good Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is at tweeting — he could justifiably be called the first real Twitter candidate. But his other internet skills seem a bit lacking, if we take his disturbing comments today about the mother of a slain Muslim-American solider at even face value.
Donald, meet YouTube, which is owned by Google, which is a big search engine. Pro tip: It has all kinds of video on it, including one where Ghazala Khan talks about losing her son, Purple Heart recipient U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan. He died in Iraq while saving other members of his unit from a bomb attack.
That did not stop Trump, in an interview today with his favored columnist Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, from declaring, "I'd like to hear his wife say something.” He was referring to an emotionally devastating speech by Ghazala Kahn’s husband, Khizr Khan, at the Democratic convention, in which Khan took issue with Trump and his stances on Muslims. During the speech, Ghazala Khan stood by his side and did not speak, which caused Trump then to wildly (and inaccurately) speculate as to why.
Trump repeated his assertions in an ABC interview intimating that Ghazala Khan had not spoken because as a Muslim woman "maybe she wasn't allowed to.”
Okay, that’s a lie. Maybe because she was bereft with grief is more like it as you can see from this heartbreaking interview she and her husband did on MSNBC, which is all over YouTube and also Twitter, where Trump could have easily found it.
Ghazala Khan, a Gold Star mother, explained her reasons for staying silent cogently and understandably: “And I was very nervous because I cannot see my son's picture, and I cannot even come in the room where his pictures are. That's why when I saw the picture at my back I couldn't take it, and I controlled myself at that time. So, it is very hard.”
Very hard, as you can see here (if you want an emotional punch to the gut):
Giant and prolonged sigh that in this age of internet ubiquity these kinds of cruel antics could go on. There’s a lot of noisy crap on the internet, but also a lot of stuff that is easily checkable.
Vox’s Ezra Klein weighs in more eloquently at the ugly part of Trump’s statements and it is well worth a read: “This is the woman Trump decided to slander. This is the gauge of his cruelty. This isn't partisan. This isn't left vs. right. Mitt Romney never would have said this. John McCain never would have said this. George W. Bush never would have said this. John Kerry never would have said this. This is what I mean when I write that the 2016 election isn’t simply Democratic versus Republican, but normal vs. abnormal.”
Abnormal indeed, Donald, even for the person just here to show you how the internet works. Because every now and then it does.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.