Donald Trump refuses to back down from his critical stance against Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of fallen Army Captain Humayun S. M. Khan. After Khizr’s speech at the Democratic National Convention went viral, Trump unabashedly attacked the Gold Star family in a television interview and on social media. Twitter responded in kind, as have many media personalities, pundits and politicians. Perhaps the most stringent response to Trump, however, came from Senator John McCain, a former Republican presidential candidate and Vietnam veteran.
In a lengthy statement released early Monday, McCain couldn’t “emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump’s [statements]” regarding Humayun S. M. Khan’s service, Khizr and Ghazala continued remarks in on-camera interviews and in written op-eds, and the broader idea that their kind (i.e. Muslim immigrants) shouldn’t be allowed into the country. “I hope Americans understand,” McCain continued, “that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican Party, its officers, or candidates.”
Despite the distinction, McCain reminded everyone that his political allegiance remains with the Republican party. However, that didn’t stop him from rebuking Trump’s behavior regarding the Khan family. It also didn’t prevent the Arizona senator from thanking Khizr and Ghazala for coming to America:
“I’d like to say to Mr. and Mrs. Khan: thank you for immigrating to America. We’re a better country because of you. And you are certainly right; your son was the best of America, and the memory of his sacrifice will make us a better nation — and he will never be forgotten.”
This isn’t the first time McCain and Trump have sparred in the public eye. Shortly after announcing his presidential campaign in 2015, the New York real estate mogul caught flak for questioning the veteran’s status as a war hero. As with the Khan family dispute, Trump long refused to back down from his disparaging comments back then. It should be noted though that McCain, a self-described “maverick,” did not retract his endorsement of Trump.
You can read McCain’s full statement here.