Donald Trump can’t seem to help himself.
The Republican presidential candidate has again prolonged a debacle for his campaign as he continues to lash out at the family of a slain Muslim United States soldier.
The father, Khizr Khan, stood by his wife Ghazala at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 28 and blasted Trump for proposing a ban on Muslims entering the U.S.
The back and forth between the two is now in its fifth day, so we’ve rehashed it from the beginning to keep you up to speed.
Khizr Khan’s speech
Khizr Khan’s voice at times trembled with emotion as he spoke before a cheering crowd at the DNC on Thursday. He spoke of his son, Humayun Khan, who died in the Iraq War after he told soldiers under his command to take cover while he investigated a suspicious vehicle.
“Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son the best of America,” Khan said. “If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America.”
Khan’s speech likely would have generated headlines if it had ended there, but he had much more to say.
“Donald Trump: You’re asking Americans to trust you with their future,” he said. “Let me ask you, have you even read the United States Constitution?”
Khan then slipped a copy of the Constitution from an inner pocket in his suit jacket and held it about eye level. “I will gladly lend you my copy,” he said.
He then asked whether Trump had been to Arlington National Cemetery, a military cemetery that is the burial site for more than 400,000 people.
“Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America,” Khan said. “You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
‘I’ve made a lot of sacrifices’
On Saturday, Trump defended himself and goaded Khan’s wife as he made media rounds following Khan’s speech.
“I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices,” Trump said to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”
Trump also implied that Khan had barred his wife from speaking at the convention, telling Maureen Dowd of The New York Times that, “I’d like to hear his wife say something.”
Ghazala Khan responds
“Donald Trump said I had nothing to say. I do.”
That was the start of the second paragraph in a Washington Post op-ed penned by Ghazala Khan on Sunday, titled: “Trump criticized my silence. He knows nothing about true sacrifice.” It was a strong response to Trump’s line of questioning about why she didn’t speak at the DNC.
“Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could?” Khan wrote. “Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?”
Khan talked about her son’s military career, and said Trump’s understanding of Islam comes from terrorists. “Donald Trump said he has made a lot of sacrifices,” she wrote. “He doesn’t know what the word sacrifice means.”
Khan talks empathy while Trump plays the victim on Twitter
The Khans appeared on CNN early on Monday to talk about their son and the speech Khizr gave at the DNC.
Trump was watching, and let the world know with a few tweets.
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 – Nice!
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2016
This story is not about Mr. Khan, who is all over the place doing interviews, but rather RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM and the U.S. Get smart!
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2016
Khan responded to those tweets on air, saying good leaders need empathy to be successful. “Donald Trump needs to sit with his advisors and portray to this world that he is empathetic,” Khan said. “You solve the problems with empathy, putting people together.”
Khizr Khan: Muslims are the solution to defeating terror in the U.S., join hands with us. https://t.co/InZiIz1Jig
New Day (@NewDay) August 1, 2016
Republicans decry Trump’s comments
Arizona Sen. and Vietnam War veteran John McCain, a former Republican nominee for president, condemned Trump’s attacks on the Khan family in a statement released Monday.
“In recent days, Donald Trump disparaged a fallen soldier’s parents,” McCain said. “He has suggested that the likes of their son should not be allowed in the United States to say nothing of entering its service.”
McCain went on to say he “cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trumps statement. I hope Americans understand that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican Party, its officers, or candidates.
GOP leadership also made sure to distance themselves from Trump’s comments.
“Capt. Khan was an American hero, and like all Americans Im grateful for the sacrifices that selfless young men like Capt. Khan and their families have made in the war on terror,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement on Sunday. “As I have long made clear, I agree with the Khans and families across the country that a travel ban on all members of a religion is simply contrary to American values.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan also condemned the idea of a ban on Muslims entering the United States.
“Many Muslim Americans have served valiantly in our military, and made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said. “Capt. Khan was one such brave example. His sacrificeand that of Khizr and Ghazala Khanshould always be honored. Period.”
Even Trump’s vice presidential running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, seemed to put some space between himself and the presidential candidate in a statement he released Sunday on Facebook, though he did state his support for “suspending immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism.”
We’ll continue to update this story with any more episodes in the ongoing back-and-forth.
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