CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Sunday confronted Donald Trump’s campaign chair, Paul Manafort, about a campaign official’s assertion that the family of a slain Muslim soldier does not deserve the “Gold Star” title.
Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim American soldier who died protecting his unit in Iraq, has been highly critical of Trump’s previous suggestion to ban all Muslims from entering the US.
This week, Trump New York campaign co-chair Carl Paladino said the Khan family did not deserve the title of a “Gold Star” family, a comment which was strongly condemned from all sides of the political aisle.
“Do you think that by having Mr. Paladino continue to serve as your New York co-chair, you’re dishonoring the military?” Tapper asked.
After claiming that he was unfamiliar with Paladino’s comments, Manafort quickly criticised Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign over Seddique Mateen’s appearance in the crowd at a Clinton campaign rally in Florida last week. Mateen’s son killed 49 people in a terrorist shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, earlier this year.
“I wonder how he could get into that speech, he’s an avowed Islamic radical. That concerned me, she’s totally ignored that fact,” Manafort said.
When Tapper noted that Manafort dodged the CNN anchor’s question, Manafort noted that he would look into the comments.
“I don’t know about the quote. I’ll have to check into the situation. Certainly Mr. Trump has made it very clear he recognises the sacrifices of all gold star parents, and he empathizes for that loss,” Manafort said.
Trump has refused to back away from his criticism of Khan, saying that the Harvard-educated lawyer has “no right” to question Trump’s understanding of the US constitution.
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