Family members of 23 U.S. service members killed in action signed a letter to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, calling for an apology for his recent response to criticism from the Khan family.
Khizr Khan, whose son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan was killed in Iraq in 2004, spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 28, reports ABC News.
“Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims ... he vows to build walls and ban us from the country,” said Khan, who suggested that his late son, who was Muslim, “would never have been in America” if it were up to Trump.
Khan addressed Trump specifically, saying, “You have sacrificed nothing and no one” and questioning whether trump had been to Arlington National Cemetery or read the Constitution.
Responding to Khan’s comments in a New York Time’s interview, Trump stated, “I’d like to hear his wife say something,” referring to Ghazala Khan, Khizr’s wife and Humayun’s mother, who stood silently next to the podium during the DNC speech. Trump later said that she may not have been “allowed to have anything to say," reports The Washington Post.
“I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices,” Trump told interviewer George Stephanopoulos on ABC News. “I think when I can employ thousands and thousands of people, take care of their education ... I was very responsible along with a group of people for getting the Vietnam Memorial built in downtown Manhattan ... I have raised millions of dollars for the vets.”
More than 30 Gold Star family members signed a letter addressed to Trump, dated Aug. 1. The letter was organized through VoteVets.org, a PAC-backed political advocacy group that identifies itself as nonpartisan, though CNBC describes the group as allied to congressional Democrats.
The letter called Trump’s response to the Khans “repugnant” and “personally offensive.”
“When you say your job building buildings is akin to our sacrifice, you are attacking our sacrifice,” the letter reads. “You are minimizing the risk our service members make for all of us.”
“This goes beyond politics. It is about a sense of decency. That kind decency you mock as ‘political correctness.’”
In a tweet on July 31, Trump responded to criticism of his remarks, asking, “I was viciously attacked by Mr. Khan at the Democratic Convention. Am I not allowed to respond?”