Trump called out for disparaging Muslim military family
8/2/2016, 4:18 p.m.
(AP) -- Donald Trump's repeated criticism of a Muslim military family whose son died a hero while serving as a U.S. Army captain in Iraq has rocked the presidential race.
President Barack Obama slammed Trump as “woefully unprepared” to serve in the White House on Tuesday and challenged Republican lawmakers to drop their support for their party’s nominee. “There has to come a point at which you say enough,” Obama declared.
Even GOP lawmakers are calling Trump’s comments about the family disrespectful, but most of those who have endorsed him are sticking by that stance.
Obama has made clear he plans to be an active player in the White House race, campaigning around the country for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. He and first lady Michelle Obama spoke at last week’s Democratic convention in Philadelphia, where the parents of the hero soldier, Khizr and Ghazala Khan also made an appearance.
Khizr Khan criticized Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslims coming to the United States and challenged whether he had read the Constitution.
The billionaire businessman challenged that assertion and stoked further outrage by implying Ghazala Khan did not speak while standing alongside her husband at the convention because she is a Muslim woman.
Trump’s criticism of the Khans is part of a familiar pattern for the Republican nominee: He can’t let go of a perceived slight, no matter the potential damage to his presidential campaign or political reputation.
Arizona Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war, said Trump did not have "unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us." The Veterans of Foreign Wars, the nation's oldest and largest veterans organization, called Trump out of bounds for tangling with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son was killed in 2004.
"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.
In an emotional appearance at last week's convention, Khizr Khan criticized Trump for proposing to temporarily freeze the entry of foreign Muslims into the U.S. and accused him of making no sacrifices for his country.