Donald Trump is causing problemsf once again for the families of those who serve, particularly the father of Cpt. Khan, the Muslim Gold Star soldier who died in Iraq. Khan made news when he caused Trump to fly off the handle during the Democratic Convention by speaking about being a patriotic American and also being Muslim.
During Sunday’s debate, Trump said that if he had been president in 2004, Khizr Khan’s son would have been alive today. Trump also alluded that were he in Hillary Clinton’s position as the New York Senator, he would have made the right choice and stopped the U.S. from going into the war in Iraq.
Hearing Trump talk about these things and claiming that he could somehow have saved Cpt. Khan’s life stirs up even more pain for his father Khizr Khan.
“I was saddened all over again that this candidate lacks the character, lacks the ability to understand the pain of those that have sacrificed their lives in defense of this country,” Khan told CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday morning. “There were about 4,500 approximately men and women that died in Iraq, and for this candidate to put his political expediency ahead of any realization of pain and suffering of the families is shameful.”
Khan reiterated what he said several months ago at the Democratic convention, “This candidate does not have the character to be the commander in chief of the armed forces. My appeal to the Republican had been, and I repeated that they should have repudiated. We would not have been watching what is happening to the Republican party. The Republican party used to be the party of the family values. Is that what we are going to be leaving behind? Is this what Republican party has come to?”
While Trump might have backed off the Khan family and thanked them for their service and for their son’s ultimate sacrifice, Trump has never reached out to the Khans to apologize for attacking the family. Instead, Trump sought to bring up the Khan’s at the debate and claim that Cpt. Khan would have been alive were it for Trump
“We were not only shocked, we were saddened that for such disingenuous expression of his thinking and of his feeling, and that was nothing but it was so blatant political expediency,” Khan said about hearing Trump during the debate.
Trump is garnering support from many military members and leaders, but Khan urges his son’s fellow soldiers to think about what that means for the country.
“I respect them equally as I respect my son and other military members,” Khan said. “They deserve our respect, and they are entitled to choice, but I ask them to think back, review this person’s character, review what he has done for this country. Nothing. Look how much he has paid in support of the military. Nothing. Think back what his character had been. Is that what we want in our commander in chief? Look what he — how he has shown up until now that his values are only for the self-interest. Country is — and the political party — is somewhere down the line. Nothing but a selfish person that is exploiting the sympathies, exploiting the loyalty of the military.”
When it comes to Trump’s new idea of extreme vetting, Khan doesn’t buy it, saying that Trump is merely grasping political expediency. “He’s insincere. He does not comprehend the implications of his statements. When he realizes and his surrogates realize he has made a mistake, they begin to backtrack. So, these are insincere statements.”
He was also bothered by the attacks Trump made on Clinton for saying he would appoint a special prosecutor. Khan described it as being Nixonian.
“This is not a third-world country,” Khan said. “This is the democracy of the United States. What example are we setting? Are we setting this example that will come to haunt us later? I am just so shocked, and I wanted to remind this nation to think back to that event of Saturday night massacre is in our history and we are so far away from that. This candidate thinks and makes us fear that this candidate is able to do that sort of thing all over again.”
While Khan admits he’s not a politician or even a professional pundit, he is compelled time and again to speak out against Trump, not just for his son but for his country as well.
“Look, our son gave his life in protection of this country, in protection of the Constitution. He was honorable to his oath,” Khan explained. “We do all this under his grace, under his light care for this country, care for this nation. How could a patriot American sit and watch this mockery of the democratic process that this candidate has conducted himself. It is under that spirit, under the service of this country that we stand up and we stand up and fully realize that we will be subjected to all the hate and un-American hate, we will be subjected to ridicule. But that’s the price we’re willing to pay because we want to stand up for some values, for the values of this country, for the values of democracy.”
Watch the full interview below: