In his first response to a searing charge at the Democratic National Convention from Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim soldier killed in Iraq, that he "sacrificed nothing" for his country, Donald Trump claimed that he sacrificed by employing "thousands and thousands of people." Also, he suggested that Khan's wife, Ghazala Khan, didn't speak at the convention because she was forbidden to as a Muslim and questioned whether Khan's words were his own.
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"Who wrote that? Did Hillary's scriptwriters write it?" Trump said in an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. "I think I've made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard."
On the last night of the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, Gold Star father Khizr Khan, with his wife by his side, recounted to the crowd how their son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, was killed in 2004 by a car bomb in Iraq.
Khizr Khan chastised Trump for seeking to bar foreign Muslims from entering the country, saying their son would not have been able to serve under a Trump presidency.
"Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America," Khizr Khan said, addressing Trump. "You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one."
Trump appeared to try to brush the speech aside, saying that Khizr Khan "was, you know, very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me."
Trump also said, "If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably — maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me."
This appears to be Trump tipping his hat to some far-right-wing and nationalist Twitter users who have suggested that Ghazala Khan was silent during her husband's speech because they are Muslim and he prohibits her from speaking.
In an interview with ABC today, Ghazala Khan said she did not speak because she was "in pain."
"Please. I am very upset when I heard when he said that I didn't say anything. I was in pain. If you were in pain, you fight or you don't say anything. I'm not a fighter. I can't fight. So the best thing I do was quiet," she said.
Khizr Khan said he asked his wife of 42 years to speak but she declined, knowing she would be too emotional.
"I invited her, 'Would you like to say something on the stage?' when the invitation came, and she said, 'You know how it is with me, how upset I get,'" he said.
Pressed by Stephanopoulos to identify the sacrifices he made for his country, Trump said, "I think I've made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I've created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I've had tremendous success. I think I've done a lot."
Trump also cited his work on behalf of veterans, including helping build a Vietnam War memorial in Manhattan and raising "millions of dollars" for vets.
Paul Rieckoff, the founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a nonpartisan group with close to 200,000 members, said, "For anyone to compare their 'sacrifice' to a Gold Star family member is insulting, foolish and ignorant. Especially someone who has never served himself and has no children serving. Our country has been at war for a decade and a half, and the truth is most Americans have sacrificed nothing. Most of them are smart and grounded enough to admit it."