Donald Trump faced more criticism from within his own party and from a prominent veterans group on Monday, even as the Republican nominee for President continued to tangle with the parents of a fallen Muslim U.S. soldier, while the furor over Trump’s response to that family’s criticism extended into a fourth day.
“I am dismayed at the attacks Khizr and Ghazala Khan have endured after they spoke about their son’s service and sacrifice,” said Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
“There is never enough honor we can show to the families of those whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” he added, without mentioning Trump by name.
“My advice to Donald Trump has been and will continue to be to focus on jobs and national security and stop responding to every criticism, whether it’s from a grieving family or Hillary Clinton,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO).
Even veterans groups weighed in against Trump, as head of the Veterans of Foreign Wars said the criticism of Mrs. Khan had been “out-of-bounds.”
“Election year or not, the VFW will not tolerate anyone berating a Gold Star family member for exercising his or her right of speech or expression,” said Brian Duffy, the head of the VFW.
For his part, Trump was again defiant on Monday, as his top surrogates went on cable news programs to defend their candidate.
While a growing number of Republicans in the Congress publicly objected to Trump’s remarks, none of them broke with the GOP nominee.
Most of them also didn’t even name Trump in their statements – one big exception to that was Sen. John McCain.
“It is time for Donald Trump to set the example for our country and the future of the Republican Party,” McCain said in a lengthy written statement.
“While our Party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us,” as McCain thanked the Khans for coming to the United States.
“We’re a better country because of you,” McCain said. “And you are certainly right; your son was the best of America, and the memory of his sacrifice will make us a better nation – and he will never be forgotten.”