After Trump Remarks, Clinton Calls on Americans to 'Stand With' Parents of Muslim US Soldier

Her remarks were in response to Trump's rebuke of the couple.

ByABC News
July 30, 2016, 6:40 PM

JOHNSTOWN, Pennsylvania -- Hillary Clinton on Saturday called on Americans to "stand with" the parents of a fallen Muslim U.S. soldier after Donald Trump's rebuke of the couple.

"I was very moved to see Ghazala Khan stand bravely and with dignity in support of her son on Thursday night. And I was very moved to hear her speak last night, bravely and with dignity, about her son's life and the ultimate sacrifice he made for his country," the Democratic nominee said in a statement, referring to the mother of Army Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

His father, Khizr Khan, offered a scathing critique of Trump during remarks at the Democratic National Convention last week, saying the Republican nominee has "sacrificed nothing" for his country. Ghazala Khan stood by his side.

In his first response to Khizr Khan's charges, Trump said that he sacrificed by employing "thousands and thousands of people." Also, he suggested that Ghazala Khan didn't speak because she was forbidden to as a Muslim, and he questioned whether Khizr Khan's words were his own.

"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," the Republican nominee said in an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that will air on "This Week" on Sunday.

In an interview with MSNBC on Friday, Ghazala Khan explained that she chose not to speak at the DNC.

"I was very nervous because I cannot see my son's picture. I cannot even come in the room where his pictures are. That's why. When I saw his picture at my back, I couldn't take it. It is very hard," she said.

Clinton on Saturday stood by the Khans, also saying in her statement, "This is a time for all Americans to stand with the Khans and with all the families whose children have died in service to our country. And this is a time to honor the sacrifice of Capt. Khan and all the fallen. Capt. Khan and his family represent the best of America, and we salute them."

Late Saturday evening, Trump issued a statement honoring Khan, but he also took the opportunity to deride Clinton. "Capt. Humayun Khan was a hero to our country, and we should honor all who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe. While I feel deeply for the loss of his son, Mr. Khan, who has never met me, has no right to stand in front of millions of people and claim I have never read the Constitution (which is false) and say many other inaccurate things. If I become president, I will make America safe again."

Then Trump took aim at Clinton, saying, "Further, Hillary Clinton should be held accountable for her central role in destabilizing the Middle East."

Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who dropped out of the GOP presidential nominee race earlier this year, slammed Trump Saturday in a tweet, which Clinton retweeted to her 8 million followers. "There's only one way to talk about Gold Star parents: with honor and respect," Kasich wrote. "Capt. Khan is a hero. Together, we should pray for his family."

Another Republican, radio talk show host Meghan McCain, a daughter of Sen. John McCain, also took to Twitter Saturday to criticize Trump, writing, "I would ask what kind of barbarian would attack the parents of a fallen soldier, but oh yeah it's the same person who attacks POW's."