“Let me ask you, have you even read the United States Constitution?”
Khizr Khan, father of the late American Muslim soldier Humayun Khan, pulled out a pocket U.S. Constitution from and raised it high at the Democratic National Convention. The question to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump led to a series of back and forths between Khan and the candidate.
After being criticized for his verbal attacks on the Gold Star family, Trump did not speak to the Khans to apologize, Khan revealed during a Tuesday segment of CNN’s “New Day.” The first the Khan family heard from the nominee came during the second presidential debate on Sunday night.
Trump, despite not speaking to the family, said that the Khans’ son would still be alive if Trump were president. When asked how Trump’s mention of his son made him feel, Khan responded,
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. In addition to that, I want to salute and extend my deepest gratitude to all men and women that are serving today and have served before, their sacrifices — 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.
Ryan and others who endorsed Trump even considered an intervention after his exchange with the Gold Star family.
“America’s greatness is built on the principle of liberty and preserved by the men and women who wear the uniform to defend it,” said Ryan. Without mentioning Trump by name, Ryan said that Capt. Khan and his family’s sacrifice “should always be honored. Period.” McCain said that he could not even express how fervently he disagreed with Trump’s statements, adding, “I hope Americans understand that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican Party, its officers or candidates.”
Ryan also stated that Republicans needed to take the high, moral ground. He said doing so “will help us retake the soul of our own party, which we have our own challenges with these days.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) tweeted a criticism of Trump’s words, demanding respect for the family. The attacks initially prompted her to look towards the Libertarian presidential ticket. While Collins explained that neither major party candidate was fit to be president, she recently stated that she would write in the name of the candidate she saw most fit to be president. She did not specify which candidate that was.
While many asked why other Republicans did not pull their endorsements of Trump after the incident, the recent release of a controversial hot mic recording of a vulgar 2005 conversation involving Trump led several Republican politicians to retract their endorsements, call for Trump to drop out, or refuse to defend his comments (including his own vice presidential pick). Even campaign surrogate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that Trump was describing sexual assault. Trump gave a rare apology following the incident.
Another series of audio clips, focusing on various interviews between Trump and radio shock jock Howard Stern, have also been released. The candidate spoke vividly on his sexual activities, including infidelity, as well as his fascination with his daughter Ivanka.
The Hill compiled a thorough list of the Republicans who have pulled their support or asked Trump to step aside.