Republican nominee Donald Trump, facing backlash over his controversial remarks about the family of slain Army Captain Humayun Kahn, continued to aggressively push back against critics this morning.
"Mr. Khan, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over T.V. doing the same – Nice!" Trump tweeted today in reference to an appearance Khizr Khan and Ghazala Khan, the parents of Humayun Kkhan, were making on the CNN program "New Day."
Khizr Khan used the opportunity to praise his son, describing him as a "wonderful, patriotic, deliberate" person. He also criticized Trump's ignorance of the constitution, and said that Trump wanted "one set of rights for himself, and another set of rights for others," a comment that referred to the First Amendment.
Trump said his perceived lack of respect for the family of a fallen U.S. soldier served as a distraction from issues that were more pertinent to the presidential campaign.
"This story is not about Mr. Khan, who is all over the place doing interviews, but rather RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM and the U.S. Get smart!" Trump tweeted in reference to the appearance.
This story is not about Mr. Khan, who is all over the place doing interviews, but rather RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM and the U.S. Get smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2016
Moreover, the families of 11 fallen service members have demanded an apology for "repugnant" and "personally offensive" remarks made by Trump in a letter published by VoteVets Action Fund, the progressive advocacy wing of the political action committee for VoteVets.org.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan praised the sacrifices made by the Khan family in statements made over the weekend. Without naming Trump directly, they implied that his criticism of the Khan family and his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S. ran contrary to American values.
"All Americans should value the patriotic service of the patriots who volunteer to selflessly defend us in the armed services. And as I have long made clear, I agree with the Khans and families across the country that a travel ban on all members of a religion is simply contrary to American values," McConnell wrote.
Ghazala Khan responded to the firestorm, telling CNN this morning that "I'm so happy to be saying that I'm a Muslim woman. I'm very glad to be in this country."
"Someone has to pay a price for this freedom that we have," she added about her son's service.