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Pence Defends Trump in Feud With Fallen Soldier’s Family

Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence waded into the dispute between Donald Trump and the family of fallen Army Captain 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."

Trump has faced growing criticism this weekend over remarks he made about the appearance of Khan's parents, Khizr and Ghazala, at the Democratic National Convention. Khizr Khan said in his speech that Trump has "sacrificed nothing and no one." Trump responded to this claim on "This Week," telling ABC News' George Stephanopoulos he had made a lot of sacrifices for the country, including employing thousands of people. Trump also insinuated that Ghazala, who stood beside her husband as he spoke, was silent during the speech because of her religion.

"Donald Trump and I believe that Captain 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.

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The Indiana governor's words mark the second time this week he has tried to walk back his running mate's controversial comments.

On Tuesday, after Trump called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton's missing emails at a press conference in Miami, 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 had been penned before Trump's press conference had even begun.

Pence later said Trump's comments on Russia had been "laced with sarcasm" and blamed the media for consistently mischaracterizing Trump's words.

In the statement he released today, Pence makes no mention of Trump's proposed Muslim ban but does maintain that immigration from countries that "have been compromised by terrorism" should be suspended. The Trump campaign has yet to specify which countries they are referring to.

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."

Pence's son Michael is a Marine. His father was a combat veteran who got sent to Korea. 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 feud.


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