US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says he does not regret his comments on the family of Captain Humayun Khan, a Muslim American soldier killed in Iraq in 2004.
Trump belittled the parents of Khan, whose father addressed the Democratic National Convention last Thursday night after he denounced the business mogul as unpatriotic and selfish over his divisive rhetoric against immigrants and Muslims.
Trump responded, in part, by suggesting that Ghazala Khan, the mother of the soldier, was silent during her husband’s speech at the DNC because she was not “allowed” to speak.
In an interview with ABC7 on Tuesday, Trump said, “I don’t regret anything.”
“I said nice things about the son and I feel that very strongly but of course I was hit very hard from the stage and you know it’s just one of those things but no I don’t regret anything.”
Humayun Khan, 27, was killed in a 2004 car bombing attack in Iraq and was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Trump’s comments attracted rebuke from both sides of the aisle and intensified calls for Republican leaders to distance themselves from the White House contender.
President Barack Obama criticized Trump and Republicans for supporting him despite the controversies around his campaign.
“If you are repeatedly having to say, in very strong terms, that what he has said is unacceptable, why are you still endorsing him?” Obama asked during a White House news conference.
Also, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a strong Trump supporter, said it was “inappropriate” to criticize the family of Capt. Khan and other Gold Star families.
In addition, a spokesperson for Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House of Representatives, has slammed Trump’s rhetoric about Muslims.