Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence waded into the dispute between Donald Trump and the family of fallen Army Capt. Humayun Khan tonight, issuing a statement saying both he and Trump believe that Khan is "an American hero" and that his family "should be cherished by every American."
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Trump has faced growing criticism over remarks he made this weekend about the appearance of Khan's parents, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, at the Democratic National Convention. Khizr Khan said in a speech there that Trump has "sacrificed nothing and no one." Trump responded on "This Week," telling ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that he made a lot of sacrifices for the country, including employing thousands of people. Trump also insinuated that Ghazala Khan, who stood beside her husband as he spoke, was silent during the speech because of their religion.
"Donald Trump and I believe that Capt. Humayun Khan is an American hero and his family, like all Gold Star families, should be cherished by every American," Pence said in a statement released tonight.
This is the second time in a week that Pence has tried to walk back his running mate's controversial comments.
On Tuesday, after Trump at a press conference in Miami called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton's missing emails, Pence issued a statement saying there would be serious consequences if it was found that a foreign power had hacked into government emails. An aide to the campaign said the statement was penned before Trump's press conference had even begun.
Pence, the governor of Indiana, later said Trump's comments on Russia were "laced with sarcasm" and blamed the media for consistently mischaracterizing Trump's words.
In his statement released today, Pence made no mention of Trump's proposal to bar foreign Muslims from entering the U.S. but maintained that immigration from countries that "have been compromised by terrorism" should be suspended. The Trump campaign has yet to specify which countries that means.
Earlier this year, Pence called Trump's Muslim ban "offensive" and "unconstitutional." After he joined Trump's ticket, Pence said he was supportive of Trump's immigration policies and that Trump's phrasing "didn't come out quite right."
Mike Pence's father was a combat veteran who was sent to Korea. The governor's son, Michael Pence, is a Marine. Mike Pence repeatedly brought up his personal ties to the military over the course of his first week campaigning as Trump's vice presidential pick.
It took Pence approximately 24 hours to comment on the Trump-Khan matter.