Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Saturday responded to the father of a U.S. Muslim soldier killed in Iraq who accused the mogul of never sacrificing anything for his country.
Khizr Khan gave a moving speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday in which he took on Trump’s hateful rhetoric toward Muslims.
“Let me ask you, have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy,” he said as his wife stood by his side. “Look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law.’ Have you ever been to Arlington National Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending this country.”
“You have sacrificed nothing,” he said.
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that was published Saturday, Trump said he had sacrificed a lot in his life.
“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 done― I’ve had― I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”
“Those are sacrifices?” Stephanopoulos interjected.
“Oh sure, I think they’re sacrifices,” Trump said, going on to tout his work to help build the Vietnam War memorial in Manhattan and raising money for veterans’ charities.
Trump’s business record isn’t as great as he claims. The mogul has also preyed on poor people by urging them to spend their money on Trump University ― a series of real-estate seminars that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has called “straight up fraud.” Two years before the 2008 housing market crash in which millions lost their homes, Trump rooted for the market to collapse. He has also been incredibly stingy with charities, making several false promises to donate money. He donated $1 million to charity in May, several months after he initially promised to do so and after he came under media scrutiny for dragging his feet.
Khan’s son, Army Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan, was born in the United Arab Emirates. He was killed in Iraq in 2004 by a vehicle filled with explosives. Khan saved the lives of several other soldiers by urging them to stay back while he approached it.
The founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America minced no words in a response to Trump’s defense of his “sacrifices.”
“For ANYONE to compare their ‘sacrifice’ to [sic] Gold Star family is insulting, foolish and ignorant,” Paul Rieckhoff said in a statement to ABC News.
“Especially someone who has never served himself and has no children serving,” the statement read. “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.”
On Friday, Khazir Khan pleaded with Republican leaders to repudiate Trump.
“If your candidate wins and he governs the way he has campaigned, my country, this country, will have constitutional crises [like] never before,” he said.
Speaking with ABC, the Republican nominee also took on Khan and his wife, Ghazala, suggesting she wasn’t allowed to speak at the convention.
“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,” Trump said.
Ghazala Khan was in tears as she spoke about her son during an interview on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” on Friday. She said she told her son, “’be safe, and don’t become hero for me, just be my son, come back as a son.’ He came back as a hero.”
Trump also suggested that Khan’s remarks were not his own but were written by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. In fact, Khan told The Huffington Post Friday the DNC allowed him to say whatever he wanted.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.
Andrew Hart contributed reporting.