Khizr Khan, the gold star father who became the center of controversy after his speech blasting then-Republican nominee Donald Trump at the Democratic National Convention, claimed recently that he had to cancel one of his speaking engagements in Toronto because a U.S. government agency told him his travel privileges were "being reviewed."
Now, those allegations are being called into question.
Khan, who has been an American citizen for more than 30 years, was scheduled to deliver a speech Tuesday in Toronto on tolerance, understanding, unity and the rule of law. But just one day before the engagement, Canada's CTV reported that Khan was notified that his travel privileges were "being reviewed" and that, as a result, he had to cancel his trip to Canada.
Khan issued a statement Monday, which CTV reported:
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. I am grateful for your support and look forward to visiting Toronto in the near future.
JUST IN: Gold Star father Khizr Khan cancels scheduled speech in Toronto after being told his "travel privileges ar… https://t.co/xCuZRVOIol— Rosa Hwang (@Rosa Hwang) 1488824275.0
The Democratic National Committee used Khan's unverified claim to take a shot at President Donald Trump.
Khizr Khan offered Donald Trump a copy of the Constitution back in July. If only he had read it. #NoBanNoWallNoRaids https://t.co/MWHQZv7a7o— The Democrats (@The Democrats) 1488852146.0
Other liberals took to social media, echoing the DNC's suggestion that Trump might have personally interfered in Khan's travel schedule.
I've always thought Trump's an angry bitter old man. Holds grudges. Idea that he would review travel privileges of… https://t.co/VGLQFG677e— (((Cin Irwin))) (@(((Cin Irwin)))) 1488921505.0
BIGOTRY OF TRUMP: Khizr Khan, whose son died in Iraq, cancels trip to Canada after being warned his 'travel privileges are being reviewed'.— Bill Madden (@Bill Madden) 1488828222.0
The U.S. State Department, which is in charge of distributing passports and visas to American travelers, followed up on Khan's claim, saying:
A U.S. citizen who holds a valid U.S. passport may enter and depart the U.S. It is the decision of each individual country to determine whether to admit any U.S. citizen. U.S. citizens traveling should consult the requirements for their destination country prior to travel.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol also appeared to take issue with Khan's claim. According to Politico, the agency said in a statement:
With respect to Global Entry or trusted traveler membership, CBP’s engagement is about the status of membership in the program, not any particular travel itself. Of course, any U.S. citizen with a passport may travel without trusted traveler status. All individuals are subject to inspection departing or upon arrival to the United States.
American citizens are not required to have a visa to travel to Canada. And according to the Washington Post, American citizens who have a passport cannot be prevented from traveling to other countries unless they have a criminal record. The newspaper reported that public records in each of the past two cities in which Khan has lived — Charlottesville, Va., and Silver Spring, Md. — show he has no criminal history.
It also doesn't look like the Canadian government prevented Khan from traveling to Toronto. Camielle Edwards, spokeswoman for Canadian Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, told the Post that the ministry was "unaware of any restrictions regarding this traveler."
So what exactly might have led Khan to abruptly cancel his trip?
National Public Radio reached out Khan for clarification. Khan only responded with "thank you — no comment."
Asked Khizr Khan several simple, clarifying Qs via email. He got back, saying only "Thank you - no comments." I'd stay away from this story— Domenico Montanaro (@Domenico Montanaro) 1488837926.0
(H/T: Daily Caller)