Veterans Group Denounces Donald Trump Over Ghazala Khan Comments

August 1st 2016

Kyle Jaeger

The backlash against Donald Trump's comments about Ghazala Khan, the mother of a fallen Army captain who appeared alongside her husband at the Democratic National Convention last week, keeps mounting. Now it's the Veterans of Foreign Wars that's condemning Trump.


The organization, which hosted a presidential convention in North Carolina last week where both nominees spoke, released a statement Monday denouncing Trump over his suggestion that Khan's mother didn't speak at the DNC because she "wasn't allowed to have anything to say."

"Election year or not, the VFW will not tolerate anyone berating a Gold Star family member for exercising his or her right of speech or expression," VFW leader Brian Duffy said. "There are certain sacrosanct subjects that no amount of wordsmithing can repair once crossed. Giving one’s life to nation is the greatest sacrifice, followed closely by all Gold Star families, who have a right to make their voices heard."

In response to Trump's remarks, Khan told MSNBC that she chose not to speak because she was concerned she would become emotional.

"I was very nervous, because I cannot see my son's picture and I cannot even come in the room where his pictures are, and that's why when I saw the picture on my back, I couldn't take it," Khan said. "And I controlled myself at that time, so it is very hard."

Trump, for his part, has maintained that Ghazala's husband, Khizr Khan, "viciously attacked" him at the DNC and tweeted that the real story is about Islamic extremism.

But his defense of the comments doesn't appear to be winning over many hearts. Besides the VFW, a number of high-profile Republicans (including Arizona Sen. John McCain, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich) have criticized Trump as insensitive and out-of-touch for his remarks. President Barack Obama, speaking at the Disabled American Veterans' National Conference on Monday, also weighed in on the controversy.

"No one—no one—has given more for our freedom and security than our Gold Star families," Obama said. "They represent the very best of our country. They continue to inspire us every day and every moment. They serve of as a powerful reminder of the true strength of America."

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