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Donald Trump has responded to the wrenching speech delivered on Thursday at the Democratic National Convention by Khizr Khan, the father of late U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who died in 2004 while based in Iraq.
During his speech, Khan fiercely defended his son's legacy, arguing that Trump's proposal to ban Muslim immigrants from entering the U.S. would prevent "patriotic" Muslim-Americans from serving the country. He then asked Trump if he had read the Constitution before pulling his own copy from a breast pocket, saying he would lend it to Trump.
In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Trump defended himself against Khan's allegations that he had "sacrificed nothing."
"[His wife] had nothing to say. [...] She probably, maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me," Trump said. "But plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet, and it looked like she had nothing to say. A lot of people have said that."
[Trump] also suggested that Khan’s wife didn’t speak because she was forbidden to as a Muslim and questioned whether Khan’s words were his own.
“Who wrote that? Did Hillary's script writers write it? [...] I think I've made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard.”
In an interview with MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, Ghazala Khan said that she was nervous even to attend the DNC because she "cannot even come in the room where [Humayun's] pictures are. That's why when I saw the picture at my back I couldn't take it, and I controlled myself at that time. So, it is very hard."
In a 2005 interview with The Washington Post, Khizr Khan said his son "wanted to give back" when he enlisted in the Army.
"He said that it seems only fair and logical to join the Army," Khan told the Post. "Because he wanted to complete the journey—he felt that ROTC had completed him as a person, and he wanted to give back. That's what he wanted to do."
The Post reported:
Humayun's job at the base in Baqubah was to inspect the soldiers at the gates, where crowds of Iraqis would sometimes gather. Humayun went early that morning, which was just like him. He saw a taxi speeding toward the gates, too fast, he thought. He yelled for everyone to hit the dirt. Then, as was his nature, he went running toward it, they said.
"Ten or 15 steps with his hand outstretched," his father said, stretching his own arm out in front of him almost a year later [.]
The explosives detonated before the car could ram the gates or the mess hall nearby, where several hundred soldiers were eating breakfast.
"They did not call him Captain Khan," his father told The Post. "They called him 'our captain.' "