- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Eric Trump on Tuesday said his father’s recent back-and-forth with the family of a fallen U.S. soldier has been blown “hugely” out of proportion and that Donald Trump has repeatedly called Capt. Humayun Khan, who died in 2004 while serving in Iraq, a “hero.”

“I think that this is something that was honestly [blown] hugely out of proportion,” Eric Trump said on “CBS This Morning.”

“Because he first of all said the Khan family looked like amazing people in that interview, which for whatever reason never wants to get reported; he called him a hero so many different times,” he said.

“This isn’t a Muslim thing — this is an ISIS thing and this is also an anti-immigration, anti-Syrian refugee thing coming into the country [because] he doesn’t want to see more Americans dead,” the younger Mr. Trump said.

“My father is a great patriot, he doesn’t want to see more Americans dead, and he’s [seeing] what’s happening around the country, and quite frankly, he’s shaking his head,” he said.

The candidate has been engaged in a back-and-forth with Capt. Khan’s parents since Khizr Khan and his wife, Ghazala, appeared at the Democratic National Convention last week. Mr. Khan had criticized Mr. Trump’s call to ban Muslim immigrants from coming into the U.S. and asked if he had ever read the U.S. Constitution.

A group of Gold Star families — meaning they’ve lost someone in combat — have written a letter calling on Mr. Trump to apologize.

“When you say your job building buildings is akin to our sacrifice, you are attacking our sacrifice,” they wrote.

Asked if his father would be willing to apologize and move on, Eric Trump said he thinks that’s a “great question” for the candidate.

“And I think he has by calling them a hero, you know, and in terms of the one question, whether you’ve made a sacrifice, I think my father has,” Eric Trump said. “Now, that’s certainly not the ultimate sacrifice — the ultimate sacrifice is a soldier dying for this nation and dying to protect the three of us, there’s no question about it.”

“My father’s simple message — it’s not an anti-Muslim message, it’s an anti-terror message,” he said. “You know, we have ISIS and they’re running rampant around the world and we have to do something about it.”

Eric Trump also said the Khan family has gotten considerably more media attention than Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, one of four Americans who was killed in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Ms. Smith spoke at the Republican National Convention last month.

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