Khizr Khan: 'Saddened all over again' after Trump's debate comments

Story highlights

  • Khizr Khan criticized Donald Trump's debate comments
  • "If I were president at that time, he would be alive today," Trump said

Washington (CNN)The Gold Star father who criticized Donald Trump at the Democratic National Convention this summer said Tuesday the Republican presidential nominee mentioning his slain son's name on the debate stage made him sad all over again.

"I was saddened all over again that this candidate lacks the character, lacks the ability to understand the pain of those that have sacrificed their lives in defense of this country," Khizr Khan, the father of a slain Muslim American soldier, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Tuesday. "And for this candidate to put his political expediency ahead of any realization of pain and suffering of the families is shameful."
    Trump said during the debate: "First of all, Captain Khan is an American hero. If I were president at that time, he would be alive today, because unlike her who voted for the war without knowing what she was doing, I would not have had our people in Iraq. Iraq was a disaster. So he would have been alive today."
    Khan, whose son was killed in the Iraq War, delivered a passionate appeal at the DNC in July to encourage voters to support Hillary Clinton. He said Trump smears "the character" of religious minorities like his family.
    Khan said Tuesday he was shocked that Trump brought up his son's name again considering that his family has never heard from the candidate.
    "We were not only shocked, we were saddened that for such disingenuous expression of his thinking and of his feeling, and that was nothing but it was ... political expediency," he said.
    Khan said Trump is incapable of understanding the pain of the military families he exploits.
    "Look how much he has paid in support of the military. Nothing. Think back what his character had been. Is that what we want in our commander in chief," he asked. "Nothing but a selfish person that is exploiting the sympathies, exploiting the loyalty of the military families."
    Khan also attacked Tuesday Trump's promise to appoint a special prosecutor that would put Clinton in jail if the businessman is elected.
    "Donald Trump has laid the foundation for interference to investigate Hillary Clinton, his political opponent," he said. "This is not a third world country this is the democracy of the United States. What example are we setting? Are we setting this example that will haunt us later?"
    Khan said Republicans need to recognize that Trump is unfit to be the commander of chief due to his character flaws.
    "I have said it two months ago that this candidate does not have the character to be the commander in chief of the armed forces," he said. "Think back to what his character has been. Is that what we want in our commander in chief? Look at who he has shown up until now that his values are only for the self interest."