May 20, 2024

A Gold Star father was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor after heckling Joe Biden at the State of the Union Address on Thursday. 

Steve Nikoui, whose son was killed during Biden’s botched 2021 evacuation from Afghanistan, was heard shouting “Marines” and “Abbey Gate,” a reference to the site where Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui and 12 other American troops were killed by a suicide bombing. 

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Footage during the address showed Nikoui’s outburst as Biden claimed that America was safer under his leadership. He was then seen being escorted out of the gallery. 

In a statement provided to the New York Times, the Capitol Police said officers had warned Nikoui to stop and removed him from the chamber when he refused to do so. 

“This is a routine charge on Capitol Hill. People who illegally demonstrate/disrupt Congress typically are released after they pay a $50 fine, so the misdemeanor charge is resolved without going to court,” the statement read. 

Nikoui had previously admitted that he blames for Biden for his son’s tragic death. 

“They sent my son over there as a paper pusher and then had the Taliban outside providing security,” Nikoui told The Daily Beast in 2021. “I blame my own military leaders… Biden turned his back on him. That’s it.”

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Nikoui was invited to the event by Rep. Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), who is himself a veteran. After the incident was concluded, Mast reiterated his support for Nikoui’s form of protest. 

“Steve Nikoui, the father of fallen Marine LCpl. Kareem Nikoui, was my guest to [The State of the Union],” he wrote on the X platform. “He was arrested because he cried out to [Joe Biden] to remember his son.”

“For the last three SOTU speeches, Joe Biden REFUSED to say the names of the 13 U.S. servicemembers who were killed by his disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal,” he continued. “I couldn’t support this effort more. Say their names!”

At the time of the attack, Biden promised retribution against those had committed the atrocity, although there is no evidence the assailants have ever been found. 

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“To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” he declared at the time. “I will defend our interests and our people with every measure at my command.”

            

Over the course of his long, divisive and angry State of the Union Address, Biden made numerous false assertions about the successes of his presidency, ranging from his suppsoed successes on the economy to his efforts to fix the country’s broken immigration system. 

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