Responding to a statement made by the Muslim father of a fallen US soldier at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) accusing Donald Trump of having “sacrificed nothing” for his country, Trump said on Saturday that he had made “a lot of sacrifices.”
Standing on the DNC stage on Thursday with his wife, Iraqi-born Khizr Khan, whose son died in Iraq in 2004, spoke directly to Trump in a fiery condemnation of the Republican candidate’s attitude towards Muslims and immigrants.
“He sacrificed his life to save the lives of his fellow soldiers,” said Khan, a lawyer, of his son, Captain Humayun Khan. “If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America.”
“Have you ever been to Arlington cemetery?” he asked, addressing Trump. “Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
The video of his emotional speech quickly went viral.
Asked to respond on Saturday, Trump defended himself in an interview with ABC, saying that he had made “a lot of sacrifices”, such as employing people and building great structures.
“I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”
He went on the offensive as well by alleging that Khan’s speech was not genuine but manufactured by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, saying, “Who wrote that? Did Hillary’s script writers write it?”
Trump then targeted Khan’s wife, saying that she had “nothing to say” and suggesting that as a Muslim “maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.”
Following backlash to the interview, Trump’s campaign did some damage control, releasing a statement which called Capt. Khan “a hero to our country and we should honor all who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe.”
Khan responded to the statement, calling it “faked empathy”.