WASHINGTON — Khizr Khan, the father of a US soldier slain in Iraq in 2004, said Sunday that Donald Trump has a “black soul,” indicating he lacks empathy and compassion.
Khan, who pulled out a pocket copy of the Constitution during his speech at the Democratic National Convention as he asserted Trump would have barred his Muslim family from entering the United States, told CNN’s Jim Acosta on “State of the Union” that he hopes Trump’s family will “teach him some empathy.”
“He is a black soul, and this is totally unfit for the leadership of this country,” Khan said. “The love and affection that we have received affirms that our grief — that our experience in this country has been correct and positive. The world is receiving us like we have never seen. They have seen the blackness of his character, of his soul.”
Khan pushed back on Trump's suggestion that his wife, who was also on stage at the DNC, was not allowed to speak. He said she has high blood pressure and didn't want to speak for fear she wouldn't be able to hold herself together discussing her Gold Star son on stage.
"For this candidate for presidency to not be aware of the respect of a Gold Star mother standing there, and he had to take that shot at her, this is height of ignorance," Khan said. "This is why I showed him (the) Constitution. Had he read that, he would know the status a Gold Star mother holds in this nation."
He also called on House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to withdraw their support for Trump.
"It is a moral obligation — history will not forgive them," he said. "This election will pass, but history will be written. The lack of moral courage with remain a burden on their souls."
It only took a few minutes before Donald Trump responded via Twitter.
"I was viciously attacked by Mr. Khan at the Democratic Convention. Am I not allowed to respond? Hillary voted for the Iraq war, not me!" Trump tweeted.
Hillary Clinton defended the bereaved parents, saying Donald Trump has a "total misunderstanding" of American values and has inflamed divisions in American society.
Clinton tells parishioners in a Cleveland church that Trump's character is questionable because he repaid a family that made the "ultimate sacrifice" with "nothing but insults" and "degrading comments about Muslims."
Clinton said: "I do tremble before those who would scapegoat other Americans, who would insult people because of their religion, their ethnicity their disability. That's just not how I was raised."