WASHINGTON/NEW YORK: Donald Trump does not have the license to defame the parents of a fallen US soldier, said Senator John McCain on Monday as Americans across the political divide reminded the Republican presidential candidate that this time he had crossed the limit.
Mr Trump got involved in a dispute with the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, when his father, Khizr Khan, criticised the Republican candidate for his anti-Muslim rhetoric at last week’s Democratic convention.
In an interview to ABC television, Mr Trump suggested that Capt. Khan’s mother Ghazala Khan was not allowed to speak at the convention because Muslim traditions did not allow women to do so.
Ghazala Khan stood silently next to her husband as he criticised Mr Trump for wanting to prevent Muslims from coming to the United States and for profiling those living in America.
Later, Ghazala Khan told ABC news that seeing the pictures of her fallen son made her speechless and although she did not say a word, the entire American nation felt her pain.
Capt. Khan died in a car-bomb attack at a US base in Iraq in 2004 and last week the Clinton campaign brought his parents to the convention to show the Americans that while some Muslims were attacking the United States, others have given their lives to protect the interests of their adopted homeland.
“When I was standing there, all of America felt my pain, without a single word. I don’t know how he missed that. Please Mr Trump, feel that pain and you will be better.
On Monday, Senator McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, all Republicans, issued statements, criticising Mr. Trump for attacking the parents of a fallen soldier.
“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,” said Mr McCain.
The senator, who is also a former Republican presidential candidate, said Mr Trump’s comments had deeply disturbed him.
“I cannot emphasise enough how deeply I disagree with Mr Trump’s statement. I hope Americans understand that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican Party, its officers or candidates,” he said.
“What kind of barbarian would attack the parents of a fallen soldier, but oh yeah it’s the same person who attacks POWs,” tweeted Mr McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain while referring to an earlier Trump statement ridiculing POWs. “Muslim Americans have served valiantly in our military, and made the ultimate sacrifice.
Captain Khan was one such brave example. His sacrifice — and that of Khizr and Ghazala Khan — should always be honored. Period,” said Speaker Ryan.
Published in Dawn, August 2nd, 2016