Eleven Gold Star families penned a letter to Donald Trump demanding an apology for "repugnant" and "personally offensive" remarks he made about the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim American soldier who was killed in Iraq during combat in 2004. The letter was published by VoteVets Action Fund, the progressive advocacy wing of the political action committee for VoteVets.org.
The letter, released Sunday night, comes after Trump's response to the parents, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, who made headlines at the Democratic National Convention last week. Khizr Khan gave a speech in which he called Trump's proposal to temporarily bar Muslims from entering the U.S. "unconstitutional" while making the dramatic gesture of pulling a copy of the Constitution from his pocket and asking Trump directly, "Have you even read the United States Constitution?" Khan went on to say that Trump had "sacrificed nothing and no one," in a scathing rebuke of the Republican candidate.
On Sunday, Trump told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that he made a lot of sacrifices for the country, including employing thousands of people. Also, he insinuated that Ghazala Khan, who stood beside her husband as he spoke, was silent during the speech because of their religion.
She later told ABC News she did not speak at the convention because it would have been too painful.
"Your recent comments regarding the Khan family were repugnant and personally offensive to us," reads the joint letter published on VoteVets.org. "When you question a mother's pain by implying that her religion, not her grief, kept her from addressing an arena of people, you are attacking us."
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"We feel we must speak out and demand you apologize to the Khans, to all Gold Star families and to all Americans for your offensive and, frankly, anti-American comments," the letter concluded.
The GOP candidate's latest remarks have caused widespread backlash as Democrats and Republicans alike have defended the Khan family.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan both issued statements strongly defending the Khans, and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton bashed Trump for having "consistently insulted and demeaned individuals" in his campaign.