A Gold Star dad is blasting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for bringing up his dead son during the second debate.
Khizr Khan, father of the lateArmy Capt. Humayun S. M. Khan, 27, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, is speaking out about the matter following Sunday's debate between Trump and his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
"The comments from Donald Trump are so disingenuous," he said during an interview on MSNBC on Monday night. "He continues to use the sanctity of our young men and women for political expediency and I reject it."
Khan made similar statements during a separate appearance on CNN.
The subject of Khan's son came up during the debate when Clinton, responding to a questioner and self-described Muslim who asked about rising Islamophobia in the U.S., criticized Trump for attacking Khan's parents,who appeared on stage at the Democratic National Convention.
Trump said during the forum, "First of all, Capt. Khan is an American hero." He added that, had he been president rather than George W. Bush, Khan "would be alive today" because he would have never deployed troops to Iraq in 2003. He criticized Clinton for voting in favor of the war.
In 2002, when asked by radio host Howard Stern if he was for a U.S. war in Iraq, Trump said, "Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly."
During his appearance on MSNBC, Khan said he wasn't surprised by Trump's comments and called on the Republican Party, which he described as historically the "better builder of family values," to reject the Republican nominee.
Khan appeared on the segment with Joshua Manning, a former staff sergeant in the U.S. Army who served with Humayun Khan in Iraq. He recounted the June 8, 2004, car bombing in which Khan was killed. Manning said it occurred on the morning of his E-5 promotion board. He heard a massive explosion less than a half mile away.
"We heard it like it was just next to us," he said of the blast. "A piece of engine block went flying over another soldier."
Capt. Khan wasn't on duty that day, but heroically stepped forward to respond to the suspicious car that had driven to the front gate, Manning said.
"He was a real soldier's officer. He took that step," he said. "If he hadn't stepped forward on his own, [the driver] would have killed other soldiers and Iraqi civilians."
Manning added, "That act of bravery taught me so much about … selfless service."
Khan's father teared up when Manning recounted the story.
"Before I say anything, I want to salute the bravery of Josh Manning and young men and women that have served this country and have given their life," he said.