In a statement posted to Facebook, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence attempted to defuse the conflict between his running mate Donald Trump and the family of Humayun Khan Khan, a Muslim immigrant who lost his life in Iraq while serving in Iraq.
Unknown iFrame situation
The statement by Pence, which claims that Trump cherishes the Khan family, cynically attempts to ignore reality. Stung by criticism from Khizr Khan, Humayun Khan’s father, at the Democratic National Convention, Trump has spent the last two days harshly attacking the Khan family.
First, Trump suggested that Humanyun Khan’s mother, Ghazala, didn’t speak at the convention because because the Muslim faith prohibited her from speaking. (Ghazala Khan spoke about her son on MSNBC and also penned a powerful op-ed rebutting Trump’s attacks.)
Last night, Trump released his own statement saying Khan has “no right to stand in front of millions of people” and criticize him. (That right is afforded to all Americans under the First Amendment.) Trump’s actual statement, which was released after his initial comments prompted a flood of criticism, called Humayun Khan a hero but made no reference to the Khan family.
This morning Trump tweeted that he was entitled to attack Khizr Khan:
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2016
Pence’s statement blithely ignores all of these attacks and claims that Trump “cherishes” the Khan family. It seems impossible that Pence believes this to be true. The statement itself was a product of Trump’s conduct over the previous two days. Had Trump been “cherishing” the Khan family, it would have never been released.
Pence statement also appears to blame Humayun Khan’s death on the policies of “Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton,” an apparent reference to her time as Secretary of State in the Obama administration. He was killed, however, in 2004, several years before Obama took office.