Trump feud with slain soldier’s parents rocks White House race - FAITH ADAMA'S BLOG

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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Trump feud with slain soldier’s parents rocks White House race




Donald Trump’s confrontation with the parents of a slain Muslim American soldier escalated Monday, shaking the US presidential campaign amid Republican Party outcries over the real estate tycoon’s comments about the couple.

The feud has become a flash point of the 2016 White House race that pits Trump against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Criticism poured in including from outraged veterans groups, the relatives of soldiers killed in action, and even President Barack Obama who hailed such families as “the true strength of America.”
The war of words has dominated US headlines since last Thursday, when Pakistani immigrant Khizr Khan galvanized the Democratic National Convention with a tribute to his dead son in which he rebuked the Republican nominee for having “sacrificed nothing” for the country.
In an interview with ABC’s “This Week” aired at the weekend, Trump insisted he had made “a lot of sacrifices” while suggesting that Khan’s wife, who stood silent on the convention stage as her husband spoke, had not been allowed to talk.
On Monday, Trump renewed his assault, tweeting: “Mr. Khan, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over TV doing the same – Nice!”
The families of 23 other slain US soldiers berated Trump for his “repugnant and personally offensive” remarks.
“We feel we must speak out and demand you apologize to the Khans, to all Gold Star families, and to all Americans for your offensive, and frankly anti-American, comments,” they said in an open letter.
Army captain Humayun Khan was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2004.
Veterans of Foreign Wars, the largest US war veterans group, heaped scorn on Trump’s “out of bounds” criticism of a Gold Star mother.
“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.
– Republican backlash –
Few high-profile Republicans have backed Trump in his battle with the Khans.
The mogul’s sustained hostility toward the couple — alarming in part because criticism of Gold Star families of war dead has traditionally been off-limits in American political discourse — incensed Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war once mocked by Trump for being captured in Vietnam.
“I cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump’s statement,” McCain said in a lengthy statement.
“While our party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us,” he added.
Former 2016 White House candidate Jeb Bush blasted Trump’s treatment of them as “incredibly disrespectful,” while Senator Kelly Ayotte was “appalled that Donald Trump would disparage them.”
The top two Republicans in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, released carefully crafted weekend statements supporting the Khans, but they made no mention of Trump.
– To ‘malign’ a nation –
With the two sides slinging criticism, Khan on Sunday assailed Trump as a “black soul” who lacks the moral compass or temperament to be president.
Then on Monday, Khan criticized Trump’s “ignorance” for disparaging him for speaking out, and expressed exasperation on NBC that the provocative billionaire “can get up and malign the entire nation.”
Obama issued his own thinly-veiled attack on Trump, telling a group of disabled veterans he was tired of some people “trash-talking” America’s military and troops.
“No one has given more for our freedom and our security than our Gold Star families,” the president said, adding they “have made a sacrifice that most of us cannot even begin to imagine.”
Ghazala Khan, whom Trump questioned for standing by quietly as her husband talked about their son, spoke out in Monday’s Washington Post.
“Without saying a thing, all the world, all America, felt my pain,” she wrote.
“When Donald Trump is talking about Islam, he is ignorant.”
Trump scrambled to pivot away from taking on military families, saying in a Monday tweet that the issue was “not about Mr. Khan, who is all over the place doing interviews, but rather RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM and the U.S. Get smart!”
But the national co-chair of his campaign, Sam Clovis, said Trump made a deliberate move to push back against the Khans.
“I think Mr. Trump has clearly had the calculation here that he is fighting back,” Clovis told MSNBC.
“What really matters is what the American people think, and I think that’s a long way from being resolved.”
A new CBS News poll released Monday showed Clinton received a four-point bounce in support after her party’s convention and now leads Trump by seven points, 46 percent to 39 percent.
After the Republican convention, prior to the Democratic one, Trump got a two-point bump and the race was tied, CBS said.

(AFP)