Category: Gold News

Gold Star dad Steven Nikoui gets hero’s welcome after heckling Biden at SOTU


Gold Star dad Steven Nikoui got a hero’s welcome at a Washington, DC, pub after being arrested for heckling President Biden over the chaotic withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan during Thursday night’s State of the Union address

“Steve Nikoui!” other Gold Star families who attended the speech cheered as the man himself strutted into the Dubliner Restaurant blocks away from the US Capitol, following his release from the custody of the House Sergeant at Arms, according to footage shared on X by Spectator journalist Matthew Foldi.

House Republicans who invited the relatives of the fallen troops immediately called on local authorities to drop charges, with Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) offering to pay any related fines.

Nikoui’s son, Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, was one of 13 US service members killed by an ISIS-K suicide bomber outside Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 26, 2021, as Kabul fell to the Taliban.

Gold Star father Darin Hoover, whose son, Marine Staff Sg. Darin “Taylor” Hoover was also killed in the blast, wrapped Nikoui in a big bear hug as he entered the Irish pub and said, “I’m so proud of you.”

“Jesus would like to talk to you, sir,” added Mark Schmitz, the father of Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, as he offered Nikoui a Bible with his name written on it.

“We’re going to make you a shirt that says, ‘Jesus spoke to me, and I got arrested,’” said Alicia Lopez, the mother of Marine Cpl. Hunter Lopez, another victim of the bombing.

“Convict! Let’s just call him convict from now on,” joked Cheryl Juel, the aunt of Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee.

It’s unclear whether Nikoui believed his outburst toward Biden, 81, in the middle of the State of the Union was divine intervention. A source told The Post that the Gold Star dad was also unsure of whether he was facing charges for the outburst.

“Your pastor is calling too,” added Coral Brisneo, the mother of Marine Cpl. Humberto Sanchez.

Gold Star dad Steve Nikoui got a hero’s welcome at a Washington, D.C., pub after being arrested for heckling President Biden during Thursday night’s State of the Union address for the chaotic withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. twitter/RepBrianMast

Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) invited Nikoui to the speech and later secured his release after the father of two was arrested for erupting at the commander-in-chief in the middle of his address to Congress.

“To state the obvious, all Americans deserve the freedom to be safe, and America’s safer today than when I took office,” Biden said, beginning to discuss a drop in the US murder rate before he was halted by shouts from the balcony.

“Abbey Gate!” Nikoui screamed at the president, referring to the place of his son’s death at the airport. The grieving father then called out his son’s name and regiment. “Second Battalion! First Marines!”

“To state the obvious, all Americans deserve the freedom to be safe, and America’s safer today than when I took office,” Biden said, beginning to discuss a drop in the US murder rate before he was halted by shouts from the balcony. AP

Capitol Police immediately arrested Nikoui for crowding, obstructing, or incommoding, a misdemeanor that typically results in the offender’s release after paying a $50 fine.

“Mr. Nikoui lost his son due to Joe Biden’s incompetence, and lost another son to grief over his brother being killed,” Mast told The Post in a statement, referring to Dakota Halverson, who committed suicide on Aug. 9, 2022.

“This man and his family have given America more than I could personally bear and to attack him with a BS charge of ‘demonstrating’ is a disgrace.”

“Abbey Gate!” Nikoui screamed at the president, referring to the place of his son’s death. “Second Battalion! First Marines!” Fox News

Hoover and Schmitz told The Post in an interview before Biden’s speech that the president should expect “a lot of heckling” for the hasty military withdrawal, which also left hundreds of US citizens behind.

“There’s been other people that have confirmed that information that Biden knew — damn good and well — that Afghanistan was going to fall,” Schmitz said, calling the pullout “a totally epic screw-up.”

Neither the president nor his administration have accepted full responsibility for the disaster, both said.

Nikoui’s son, Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, was one of 13 US service members killed by an ISIS-K suicide bomber outside Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 26, 2021, before Kabul fell to the Taliban. via REUTERS

“He didn’t care. And he left all the munitions behind at Bagram [Airfield],” Schimtz added, referring to $7 billion worth of US military equipment that the Taliban seized after ascending to power.

Biden’s approval rating has remained underwater since August 2021, when the last US flights departed Kabul.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction found in a February 2023 report that the Biden administration’s “abrupt and uncoordinated” gave locals the impression the US “was simply handing Afghanistan over to a Taliban government-in-waiting.”

“Mr. Nikoui lost his son due to Joe Biden’s incompetence, and lost another son to grief over his brother being killed,” Mast told The Post in a statement, referring to Dakota Halverson, pictured left, who committed suicide on Aug. 9, 2022. Facebook / Shana Chappell

A State Department report in June of that year revealed that the administration also failed to take seriously the concerns of the Afghan government at the time amid warnings that Kabul would fall if American troops left.

Biden expressed to administration officials in the aftermath that he “didn’t believe anyone had made a mistake,” according to Politico reporter Alexander Ward’s book “The Internationalists: The Fight to Restore Foreign Policy After Trump.”

The president met with Gold Star families during the dignified transfer of the fallen soldiers, but Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said private meetings with relatives sought by his office have been ignored.

The president met with Gold Star families during the dignified transfer of the fallen soldiers, but Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said requests for private meetings with the relatives sought by his office have been ignored. AP

Issa and Reps. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) also invited several to attend the State of the Union as their guests of honor.

“They have every right to say, ‘Where is that explanation?’” Issa said of the Gold Star families. “’Where is that apology? Where is the legitimate investigation so it doesn’t happen to somebody else’s family?’”





https://nypost.com/2024/03/08/us-news/gold-star-dad-gets-heros-welcome-at-dc-pub-after-release-following-arrest-for-heckling-biden/?utm_source=url_sitebuttons&utm_medium=site%20buttons&utm_campaign=site%20buttons

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