US senator slams Trump for his attack on the parents of a killed Muslim army officer

War veteran John McCain, who is a leading voice on military matters in Congress, waded into a snowballing dispute between his party’s controversial presidential nominee and Khizr and Ghazala Khan, issuing the strongest rebuke yet to Mr Trump from a senior Republican on the issue.
Senate armed services committee chairman John McCain is a decorated war veteran. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP
Senate armed services committee chairman John McCain is a decorated war veteran. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP

WASHINGTON // Decorated war veteran and US senator John McCain denounced Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday for his attack on the parents of a Muslim army officer killed in the Iraq war.

Mr McCain, who is a leading voice on military matters in Congress, waded into a snowballing dispute between his party’s controversial nominee and Khizr and Ghazala Khan, issuing the strongest rebuke yet to Mr Trump from a senior Republican on the issue.

“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,” McCain, who was a prisoner of war for five years during the Vietnam War.

Mr Trump’s dispute with the Khans has dominated the election campaign in recent days after Mr Khan spoke at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, with his wife standing at his side.

The Khans’ son, army captain Humayun Khan, was killed by a bomb in Iraq in 2004, and the father spoke emotionally of the sacrifice his son had made for the country as an American Muslim, specifically criticising Mr Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country.

In response to the speech, Mr Trump said he had also made sacrifices in his life. He also implied that Mrs Khan might not have been “allowed” to speak because of her religion.

The parents bristled at that suggestion and, in numerous television appearances over the weekend, have said Mr Trump is ignorant about Islam and about their family’s sacrifice.

Several leading Republicans have weighed in to express support for the family.

Mr McCain on Monday recalled how Humayun Khan died, saying that when a suicide bomber aimed his vehicle toward a building housing hundreds of US soldiers, the captain told his subordinates to stay away, then ran toward it.

Mr McCain thanked the Khans for coming to America, saying “your son was the best of America, and the memory of his sacrifice will make us a better nation – and he will never be forgotten.”

* Reuters

Published: August 1, 2016 04:00 AM

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