Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he still plans to support the Republican nominee for president, despite negative comments Donald Trump made about the Muslim parents of a U.S. soldier who died in combat in Iraq.
Grassley says Trump’s statements “are not in line with my own beliefs” about how members of the military and their families should be treated. “We’ve got to show respect for the ultimate sacrifice that people gave and for the families that suffer,” Grassley says.
Khizr Khan appeared at last week’s Democratic National Convention and spoke out against Trump’s call to ban Muslims from terrorism hot spots from entering the U.S. Trump questioned why the dead soldier’s mother didn’t speak and Monday, Trump said he had been “viciously attacked” by Khan.
In a written statement, Grassley said: “Hearing the words from Gold Star families conjures memories of my own mother painting gold stars and the names of fallen New Hartford sons during WWII on boards to place in front of the New Hartford Post Office. We had several in our little town. Only Gold Star families know the pain and sacrifice of losing a son or daughter in the fight for freedom.”
Grassley’s Democratic opponent says Grassley should “demand an apology” from Trump. Patty Judge says “anything less than an apology is an affront” to current U.S. soldiers, veterans and those who’ve been killed while serving the country.
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst issued a statement that did not mention Trump, but said it’s important to “express our gratitude” to “Gold Star” parents. Ernst said we, as a nation, “are incredibly grateful to Captain Khan’s service and ultimate sacrifice” and to his parents, who “have endured far more than we can ever imagine.”