Obama: No one's given more than Gold Star families

Obama: Gold Star families represent the best of America
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Obama: Gold Star families represent the best of America 01:13

Story highlights

  • President Obama rebuked Donald Trump's comments about the family of a fallen Muslim-American soldier.
  • The President said families of troops killed in action deserve better.

(CNN)In an implicit rebuke of Donald Trump's comments about the family of a Muslim-American soldier killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq, President Barack Obama declared Monday that "no one has given more for our freedom and our security than our Gold Star families."

Without specifically referencing Trump's comments about the Khizr and Ghazala Khan, and without naming the GOP nominee himself, Obama said family members of Gold Star recipients "represent the very best of our country" who deserve the nation's respect.
    "They continue to inspire us every day and every moment," Obama said during remarks to Disabled American Veterans in Atlanta. "They serve as a powerful reminder of the true strength of America."
    Noting he'd sat and grieved with families of troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama said he's specifically asked for a Gold Star mother -- Sharon Belkofer -- to introduce him ahead of his remarks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last week.
    "I requested that Sharon introduce me because I understood that our Gold Star families have made a sacrifice that most of us cannot even begin to imagine," Obama said.
    His remarks Monday came amid a storm of controversy surrounding Trump's comments about the parents of Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Baghdad in 2004.
    Khizr Khan gave a speech at last week's Democratic convention claiming Trump "sacrificed nothing and no one," prompting Trump to speculate why his wife Ghazala hadn't delivered her own remarks (she later said she was too pained over her son's death to remain composed during remarks).
    Trump continued the feed the backlash -- including from many Republicans who have denounced his comments, as well as the VFW and a group of Gold Star families -- tweeting on Monday that Khan "viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over T.V. doing the same."
    Obama said families of troops killed in action deserve better.
    "We have to do everything we can for those families. And honor them. And be humbled by them," Obama said.