Mother of US Ambassador killed in Benghazi asks Trump to stop using his death for political attacks

US ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens gives a speech on August 26, 2012 at the US embassy in Tripoli, in which he declared that the consular section will reopen on August 27. The consular section will provide a full range of services, including temporary visas to travel to the United States and services for US citizens who reside in Libya. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD TURKIA
U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens gives a speech on August 26, 2012 at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD TURKIA

The mother of slain U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens is calling on Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party to stop using her son’s name and death in Benghazi as fodder for political attacks.

Stevens was serving as the U.S. ambassador to Libya when he was killed in a terrorist attack on an American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi in September 2012. Hillary Clinton was secretary of state at the time.

Trump has throughout his campaign used the attack in Benghazi to criticize Clinton. Last month, he tweeted specifically about Stevens’ death, saying, “If you want to know about Hillary Clinton’s honesty & judgment, ask the family of Ambassador Stevens.”

Stevens’s mother, Mary F. Commanday of Oakland, California, wrote a letter to the editor published by the New York Times on Friday complaining about “this opportunistic and cynical use by the campaign” of her son’s name. Her letter reads:

“As Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens’s mother, I am writing to object to any mention of his name and death in Benghazi, Libya, by Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party.

“I know for certain that Chris would not have wanted his name or memory used in that connection. I hope that there will be an immediate and permanent stop to this opportunistic and cynical use by the campaign.”

The letter comes on the heels of the Republican National Convention, where speakers highlighted the deadly attack on Americans in Benghazi. During an emotional speech on the opening night of the event in downtown Cleveland, a mother of a foreign service worker who was killed in the attack said she holds Clinton responsible.

“For all of this loss, for all of this grief, for all of the cynicism, the tragedy in Benghazi has brought on America, I blame Hillary Clinton,” Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, told the crowd inside the Quicken Loans Arena. “I blame Hillary Clinton for the death of my son, personally.”

Donald Trump Jr. also attacked his father’s Democratic opponent over Benghazi during his address to the convention Tuesday night.

“Secretary Clinton’s State Department ignored their request for help on the night in question and in the weeks and months leading up to the attack,” he said. “It was a tragedy and one that would be repeated should she win the election. Who will take that call at 3 o’clock in the morning?”

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