In response to father of dead Muslim soldier, Trump insists he's made a lot of sacrifices

Donald Trump responded Saturday to criticism from the Muslim father of a fallen soldier, who in an emotional speech at the Democratic National Convention said the billionaire businessman has "sacrificed nothing" for the country. 

In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Trump insisted that Khizr Khan, whose son, Humayun, was killed in 2004 by a car bomb in Iraq, was misguided in his criticisms. Trump said he has sacrificed, mostly when it comes to his business dealings. He also noted his role in fundraising for a Manhattan Vietnam War memorial.

“I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures,” Trump said in the interview. “I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”

Moreover, Trump suggested that as a Muslim woman, Ghazala Khan was able only to stand at her husband’s side and was not allowed to speak during his speech.

“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. You tell me,” he said.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine expressed shock that the GOP nominee would attack Ghazala Khan for not speaking during her husband's address to the Democratic convention.

"He was kind of trying to turn that into some kind of ridicule," Kaine said after a campaign event in Pittsburgh. "It just demonstrates again kind of a temperamental unfitness. If you don't have any sense of empathy than that, then I'm not sure you can learn it."

Former President Bill Clinton, who joined Kaine, at the event, agreed: "I cannot conceive how you can say that about a Gold Star mother."

On Thursday at the DNC, Khan, with his wife Ghazala at his side, castigated Trump for his calls to ban Muslims from entering the country. 

“Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America,” said Khan. “You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

At one point in the speech, Khan asked if Trump had ever read the U.S. Constitution, promptly removing a copy from his suit coat and offering to lend it to Trump. Ghazala did not speak and appeared emotional at points while her husband spoke.

In the ABC News interview, Trump said that Khan’s speech was written by Hillary Clinton’s “script writers.” According to a report by Politico, Khan said he refused help from speechwriters and delivered the address without notes.

During an interview on MSNBC on Friday, Khan called on GOP leaders, such as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, to repudiate Trump.

“What he has said, what he has threatened to do … you must say ‘enough,’” Khan said of Republican leaders. Aides to Ryan and McConnell would not respond directly to the Khans or offer comment on Trump's ABC News comments, the Washington Post reported.

Instead they pointed to past statements denouncing Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. Vice presidential candidate and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence directed all media inquiries to the Trump campaign, the Post reported.

Ghazala did speak during the MSNBC segment, explaining it's still hard to talk about her son or be around his image.

"First of all, I thank all America who listened from their heart to my husband's and my heart, and I'm so grateful for that. And it was very nervous because I cannot see my son's picture, and I cannot even come in the room where his pictures are. That's why when I saw the picture at my back I couldn't take it, and I controlled myself at that time. So, it is very hard," Ghazala said in the interview. She eventually broke down in tears when asked more questions by the interviewer.

"He has done nothing. No sacrifice," Khizr Khan said of Trump on MSNBC. "He may be a wonderful father, but he is not suitable, not fit, even for the candidacy of the stewardship that he is seeking."

Twenty-seven when he was killed, Humayun Khan was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

Chicago Tribune staff contributed

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