Khizr Khan, the Muslim Gold Star father who famously held up a “pocket Constitution” at the Democratic National Convention to criticize Donald Trump, again whipped up a media frenzy at the expense of the president this week.
A day before the event, however, Khan told speech organizer Ramsay Talks that he would be unable to make the trip because his U.S. “travel privileges are being reviewed” — claims that, upon a little inspection, don't quite hold up.
In a Facebook message sharing the news of Khan's cancellation, Ramsay Talks included a comment directly from Khan, who said:
"This turn of events is not just of deep concern to me but to all my fellow Americans who cherish our freedom to travel abroad.
I have not been given any reason as to why."
Khan was also scheduled to give an interview with a Canadian news program, but — again citing “travel privilege” issues — cancelled that appearance, as well.
Within hours, however, Khan's story began to unravel.
Khan, who was born in Pakistan, has been a U.S. citizen for 30 years. As The Washington Post notes, “U.S. citizens don't need visas to enter Canada, or even the electronic travel authorizations required of all other foreign visitors there.”
A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol spokesperson has since confirmed that any “travel privilege review” didn't originate with the agency, as it “does not contact travelers in advance of their travel out of the United States.”
A Canadian government official has also confirmed that their “office of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship is not aware of any restrictions involving Khan,” either.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, many journalists are now warning that Khan's story has thrown up quite a few red flags:
It should be noted that news of Khan's alleged “travel privilege review” that spread so quickly across social media broke the same day that President Trump announced his revised travel ban, though the ban has no effect on U.S. citizens like Khan.
For now, whatever prompted Khan to make these claims will remain a mystery, as — despite public urging — he has declined to offer any further comment on the matter.