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Khizr Khan: ‘We want to be out of this controversy’

GOP senators joining criticism of Donald Trump over comments he made about Muslim soldier


 
Khizr Khan, father of fallen US Army Capt. Humayun S. M. Khan, holds up his copy the United State Constitution as he speaks during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Thursday, July 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Khizr Khan holds up his copy the United State Constitution at the Democratic National Convention July 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

NEW YORK — Fellow Republicans are joining the rising chorus of criticism of Donald Trump for his disparagement of the bereaved parents of U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim who was awarded a Bronze Star after he was killed in 2004 in Iraq.

The roll of GOP senators publicly taking Trump to task reached at least five on Monday, including John McCain of Arizona, who said in a statement that the fact that Trump won his party’s nomination doesn’t give him “unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us.”

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said the Khans “deserve our gratitude and honour; anything else is inappropriate.”

The other three senators, all running for re-election and distancing themselves from Trump’s controversial statements, are Roy Blunt of Missouri, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Rob Portman of Ohio. Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said he’s dismayed by criticism of the parents, and both Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have issued statements praising Khan.

Pushing back, Trump complained Monday that he had been “viciously attacked” by Khan’s father at the Democratic National Convention and in the days that have followed.

Trump broke a political and societal taboo over the weekend when he criticized Khizr and Ghazala Khan. Khizr Khan did strongly criticize Trump during the convention and after, and his wife has joined in since then. Trump stoked further outrage by implying Ghazala Khan did not speak while standing alongside her husband at the convention because she is a Muslim woman.

Trump tweeted Monday that “Mr. Khan, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over T.V. doing the same.” He said the focus should be on “radical Islamic terrorism,” not the parents.

Khizr Khan told CNN on Monday that “We want to be out of this controversy. That is not our style,” even as the couple kept up a round of TV appearances. Said his wife: “My religion or my family or my culture never stopped me from saying what I want to say. I have all the rights as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter.”

At last week’s convention, Khizr Khan criticized Trump for proposing to freeze the entry of foreign Muslims into the U.S. and accused him of making no sacrifices for his country.

On Monday, Blunt advised Trump to “focus on jobs and national security and stop responding to every criticism whether it’s from a grieving family or Hillary Clinton.” Senators running for re-election — and Senate and House leaders — are concerned that the Republican nominee will damage their own campaigns.

The continuing controversy risks setting back whatever progress Trump made during his convention at winning over the independent voters who will probably be key in the fall election.

Yet he’s repeatedly made inflammatory statements at little apparent political cost — and sometimes to his benefit — going back to the beginning of the campaign when he challenged the heroism of McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and branded Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. Many of his supporters have been drawn to his tendency to say the politically unthinkable. The question is whether this, finally, is a step too far.

For the second time in a week, Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, issued a statement that appeared designed to put some space between the two men. The father of a Marine, Pence said Sunday that he and Trump believe Capt. Khan is a hero and his family “should be cherished by every American.”

Last week, Pence said Russia would face “serious consequences” for meddling in U.S. elections at roughly the same time Trump appeared to encourage it, telling reporters he would welcome Russia unearthing emails that Clinton deleted from the private servers she used while secretary of state.

Pence’s statement came after an afternoon of debate among his aides as to whether he should find a way to dissociate himself subtly from Trump’s comments, according to a person familiar with the internal campaign conversations who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss them publicly.

At the Democratic convention, the Pakistan-born Khizr Khan told his son’s story, questioned whether Trump had ever read the Constitution and said “you have sacrificed nothing.” During the speech, Ghazala Khan stood quietly by his side.

Trump responded in an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” saying: “If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.”

Ghazala Khan wrote in Sunday’s Washington Post that she did not speak because talking about her son’s death remains difficult. “Every day, whenever I pray, I have to pray for him, and I cry,” she wrote.


 

Khizr Khan: ‘We want to be out of this controversy’

  1. He and his wife should have been warned about the perils of offending Trumplethinskin with their First Amendment rights.

  2. “””””“We want to be out of this controversy. That is not our style,” even as the couple kept up a round of TV appearances.”””””

    Not to worry Mr Khan you will be out of this controversy as soon as Hillary and her party have milked it for all it’s worth to discredit Trump.

  3. “he challenged the heroism of McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and branded Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals”

    Wouldn’t it be nice if “journalists” reported what he said instead of what his political opponents say he said.

    For the record he said getting shot down doesn’t make you a hero but McCain’s refusal to be released was heroic and that some illegal aliens are rapists and criminals. Both statements are true.

    • And Trump said he wants to stop immigrating Muslims UNTIL they come up with a more thorough screening process. While Khan the soldier is truly an American hero, Khan the father is an idiot to say the things he said publicly about Trump and believe that Trump wouldn’t justifiably strike back. Now Khan wishes he hadn’t been part of Clinton’s stage performance.

      • I agree but I think all sides have stretched “hero” well beyond it’s proper meaning.

    • Mike, your comment is as disingenuous as trumps. So what if getting shot down does not make you a war hero, that has nothing to do with McCain. The only reason to utter it in the same sentence as McCains name is to suggest that he should receive less accolades for his heroism.
      .
      Same with illegal aliens being rapists or criminals. Some born and raised americans are also rapists. Some priests are as well. Why wouldn’t he bring this up? I think you can figure it out now …. he wanted to taint all illegal immigrants with his statement.

      • “Same with illegal aliens being rapists or criminals. Some born and raised americans are also rapists. Some priests are as well. Why wouldn’t he bring this up? I think you can figure it out now …. he wanted to taint all illegal immigrants with his statement.”

        This is true, but shouldn’t the fact that they are illegal immigrants taint them enough? What is so controversial about saying that people that immigrated to a country illegally, should not be allowed to stay in that country?

        • Maybe it should, but that;s not what he said, so why bring it up?

  4. Is Khan stupid? Why get on national TV if you don’t want to be part of the circus?

  5. Khan wants out of the controversy because all these details are coming out about him. His firm’s big money ties to the Clinton Foundation and Saudi Arabia, the paper he wrote on Sharia law, the fact that his father is in the Muslim Brotherhood. He exploited his son’s death to help Hillary’s campaign, Trump predictably reacted like an idiot and I guess he was hoping that the mainstream media – which for all intents and purposes is simply the propaganda wing of the Democrat party – would take it from there.

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