ThinkProgress

Trump Praises Adviser Who Called for Hillary Clinton’s Execution

New Hampshire state Reps Stephen Stepanek, right, and Al Baldasaro speak with Donald Trump in Waterville Valley, NH, Dec. 1, 2015. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/JIM COLE

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has confirmed that his adviser who once called for Hillary Clinton’s execution is still part of the campaign.

Trump gave a shout-out to his veteran’s adviser, Al Baldasaro, during a campaign rally in Windham, New Hampshire on Saturday. “Al has been so great,” Trump said. “Where’s Al? Where’s my vet?”

Baldasaro, a Republican state representative from New Hampshire, called for Hillary Clinton’s execution by firing squad in a radio interview last month after receiving a question about whether she is responsible for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya in 2012. “This whole thing disgusts me, Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason,” Baldasaro said during the interview, and then proceeded to call her a “piece of garbage.”

After the comments, Trump campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks said the campaign was “incredibly grateful for his support, but we don’t agree with his comments.”

But Trump’s comments on Saturday reveal that no action was taken, and Baldasaro is still a part of the campaign.

Despite being a veteran’s adviser, Baldasaro has also joined the smear campaign against Khizr Khan, the father of a fallen Muslim American Army captain who spoke against Donald Trump at the Democratic National Convention last month. Baldasaro shared an article from an anti-Islam conspiracy site painting Khan as a Muslim Brotherhood agent on Twitter multiple times.

When contacted by ThinkProgress last week, Baldasaro expressed regret at sharing the article on Twitter, but still maintained that Khan was connected to the Muslim Brotherhood because he has “long ties to the Clinton and Obama campaign” and “in the White House, there is the Muslim Brotherhood.” He also told ThinkProgress that the Trump campaign had not contacted him about his tweets on Khan.

This isn’t the only time Baldasaro has made controversial remarks about those serving in the armed forces. In 2011, Baldasaro was met with criticism when he told ThinkProgress he “thought it was great” that the audience at a Republican debate booed an active-duty soldier for being gay.

“I was so disgusted over that gay marine coming out,” he told ThinkProgress. “I thought the audience, when they booed the marine, I thought it was great.” New Hampshire newspapers and other groups criticized Baldasaro and called for his resignation from the New Hampshire State House’s Veteran Affairs Committee.