Dean Phillips Condemns Arrest Of Gold Star Dad

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) believes the father of a fallen U.S. Marine who was arrested for shouting at President Joe Biden during his State of the Union speech on Thursday did not do anything wrong.

In a post to X, he defended Steve Nikoui, saying, “As a Gold Star Son myself, I can only imagine the pain he has felt since losing his son in Afghanistan.”

The former Democratic presidential candidate then said that while Biden’s address should not have been interrupted by anyone, it was unfair for Nikoui to get arrested when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-MI) also had her own moment of outburst amid Biden’s address when she pressured the president to say the name of Laken Riley, the nursing student who was killed in Georgia by an illegal immigrant last month.

Greene did not get thrown in cuffs for her outburst, as Phillips pointed out.

“No one should interrupt a State of the Union Address, but if Marjorie Taylor Greene wasn’t arrested for her outbursts, why should he?” he wrote.

Nikoui, the father of 20-year-old Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, who was killed during an ISIS-K terrorist attack at the Kabul airport during Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, was removed from the House Galleries on Thursday after he stood up during Biden’s speech and yelled “United States Marines,” and “Abbey Gate.”

Nikoui’s heckling was making reference to the attack which occurred at the Abbey Gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport and left 13 U.S. service members dead and 170 civilians wounded.

During his outburst on Thursday, security tried to get him to stop. But when he continued shouting, he was booted from the House Galleries and arrested by Capitol Police, who charged him with Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding.

Phillips would not be the first person to advocate for Nikoui, as House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) has called for the charges against him to be dropped.

Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), who invited Nikoui to the event also criticized the arrest, writing, “The Sergeant at Arms is holding my State of the Union guest for yelling at @POTUS in protest because his son was killed in action at the Abbey Gate due to Biden’s incompetence. So much for the right to petition our government for the redress of grievances.”

In a statement, Mast, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Accountability and Oversight explained that he brought Nikoui to the Capitol to remind Biden of “the damage he has done to national security and American families.”